3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Fracture in space and time,
This review is from: Nostalgia For The Light [DVD] (DVD)
Nostalgia For The Light has a grand plan - to link cosmological themes of time and space with a very particular human atrocity. The problem is that it comes across very much as two film studies cobbled together, one of which I wanted to watch, the other not so much and as such compromises its vision as the analogy doesn't quite sit comfortably.
You can't take away the fact that it is undeniably beautifully filmed in places: the cracked landscapes of the arid Atacama desert, the yellowing, peeling photographs of victims of the Pinochet regime, sunlight dancing through leaves in a kitchen, desicated corpses unwrapped with the greatest care.
I came for the story of the unbelieveably brave and stoic women who have scoured the Atacama for signs of missing sons, daughters, husbands, parents for decades. It is fantastically, devastatingly moving and you can see the ripples through the generations. However, cut with the extraterrestrial explorations of astronomers who favour the clear skies above the Atacama somehow dilutes this impact. As one astronomer describes the intended parallels between the two camps, after his exploration he at least can sleep at night. More often than not the astronomy sections just come across as soporific.
Stylistically there is an irritating use of a super-imposed 'stardust' effect and the over-use of forensically enhanced sound, presumably attempting to imbue even the simplest of shifting pebbles with a significance which isn't there.
Obviously the stories are both important in how we create our world view but I can't help think that two separate films would have been a much more satisfying experience.