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Nostalgia For The Light [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Patricio Guzmán
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: New Wave Films
  • DVD Release Date: 10 Sept. 2012
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008ACGLVC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,922 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Chile s Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth. Atop its mountains, astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.

The Atacama Desert is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners, disappeared by the Chilean army after the military coup of September 11, 1973.

So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families histories.

Gradually the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the Chilean women come together.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of the most outstanding documentaries in recent years...highly acclaimed amongst many film critics and with good reason. There is a deceptively captivating light touch that is the signature for this film - self-assured without trying to lecture on a politically sensitive and humanely tragic subject. We are humbled as humans both in the midst of the tragedy of the Pinochet regime, but as individuals in awe of the wonder of the universe. It really does deliver this dual message, and importantly, with grace and artistry. A most satisfying and enjoyable film you will enjoy again and again, with new insights each time.
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Format: DVD
This is a wonderful film that speaks to the viewer on multiple levels. Firstly, there are the beautiful images of the stars, the Atacama Desert and the people who so calmly but vibrantly tell their parallel stories. Then there is the importance of the two entwining stories - both reconsructing the past, and both extrememly important for understanding the present. One doesn't have to be an astronomer to appreciate the passion and eloquence of the scientists who describe in simple clarity what they are doing with their investigation of the universe. Similarly, one doesn't need to have lost a loved one to be in sympathy with the mothers and sisters who search for 'the disappeared'.

This was the real story. The reality of western complicity in a brutal regime that murdered thousands. The fact that having so demonstrably stated that 'the holocaust' should never be allowed to happen again, that it has, in several countries, with mass genocide. The Chilean military dictatorship destroyed lives, got rid of bodies, and was applauded and allowed to continue to do this. The women who tell of their mission to find scraps of bones is transfixing, as is the story of a prison inmate who was able to retain exact measurements of the camp in his mind in order to recreate it in later years, should he be afforded the chance.

This is a magnificent film, and I recommend it to everyone who loves photography, and who wants to hear real people telling us of inhumane actions.
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Format: Blu-ray
Chilean director Patricio Guzmán's documentary `Nostalgia for the Light' is a moving exploration into the past, from a very unusual vantage point. The stage for this documentary is the Atacama desert in Northern Chile, an area so dry that literally no life or vegetation exists in it. The irony is that its a prime location for studying the history of mankind and its place within the universe, favoured by archaeologists but also astronomers due to the clarity of its skies.

The connection between astronomy and archeology is fascinating, who both share the study of the past. Huge observatories were built in the desert by a worldwide group of scientific organisations over many decades, and its still used today. We see stunning shots of the solar system, even the desert looks like part of another planet. The archaeologists are not far away, as rock carvings from pre-Columbian shepherds that are more than 10,000 years old can be seen.

But its a third group of dreamers that elevates this film to something much more profound, by investigating Chile's recent history. For over 30 years, women have been combing the desert for remains that nobody would have imagined. The Atacama desert was also the location of the Chacabuco mines, founded in 1924 but abandoned within a decade. It became notorious as it was turned into concentration camps by Chilean dictator General Pinochet in the 1970′s. Thousands of opponents of the Pinochet regime were murdered at this camp, buried in mass graves in the desert and in the sea. The wives and sisters of the disappeared, now old women, have continued their daunting task of finding their loved ones remains.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film immediately takes you out of familiar territory into a lunar landscape of the driest of dry atacama desert and the inside of the most sophisticated telescopes made by man. Then starry landscapes of the universe and you are lifted into new ways of seeing...Utterly original, seemingly complex in the way Chile's history is revealed through the testimony and lives of individual people, but the message is a wonderfully simple one - the strength and beauty of the human spirit which is mirrored in the contemplation of the stars.
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Format: Blu-ray
Slow and strange at times (gorgeously framed too) - like so many others I was moved and amazed by this semi-documentary film.

A lot of the movie has to do with variants of how the light shines on things in this filmmaker's native Chile. And how that in turn seems to affect everything and everyone (clearest skies on the planet for star gazing). There are also harrowing passages on the 'disappeared' and the women who go out into known burial sites in the desert to search for the remains of their loved ones - and never give up on them.

However - if you're buying on BLU RAY - British fans should be aware that the 'US' disc on Icarus Films is REGION A LOCKED - so it won't play on our machines unless they're chipped to be 'all regions' (which few are).

Luckily it was given a release on this side of the pond (Region B) so Patricio Guzman's poetic story of the Chilean lost and the stars in the heavens can be yours for a reasonable sum.

More a story of longing than a film (trying to understand the past as it relates to the present) - "Nostalgia For The Light" is a gracefully judged peek into a world that we just don't know and it will linger with you long after its gone...
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