NOSTALGIA DFOR THE LIGTH: REMEMBERING TO BUILD THE FUTURE
“Remembering helps build the future,” Guzmán said in his Cannes presentation of Nostalgia de la luz. The statement is a good summary of Guzmán’s documentary work of years, which reaches its poetic and committed climax in this film. An indefatigable pursuer of memory –both private and public, intimate and collective, as if they were the two halves of the same fatherland–, Patricio Guzmán travels to the Atacama desert, in the north of Chile, to bring into contact two distant points that are yet close to one another in his work on memory: astronomy and the search for the corpses of the people who suffered the consequences of Pinochet’s dictatorship. With their giant telescopes, astronomers watch at the past in the sky, observing the light emitted by stars which no longer exist. Next to them, the mothers and wives of the desaparecidos scrape at the surface of the Earth, looking at what is close to them in search of the memory of their families and their country.
Committed to issues that are his, or that belong to a history he cannot get rid of, Guzmán personally guides us through a stubborn, nostalgic memory in the pursuit not of revenge but of a reconciliation as bright and shiny as the Atacama desert.