FOR THE LIGHT

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(Pa­tri­cio Guzmán, Chile/France/Ger­many/ Spain/U. S.). 90 min­utes. Rat­ing: NNNNN Two very dif­fer­ent groups of peo­ple – a team of as­tronomers work­ing at an ob­ser­va­tory in the Chilean desert and the women search­ing for the hus­bands, broth­ers and sons who may be buried in nearby mass graves – form the back­bone of Pa­tri­cio Guzmán’s thought­ful 2010 med­i­ta­tion on Chile’s past, present and fu­ture. The struc­ture turns this ab­surd jux­ta­po­si­tion into a sor­row­ful ex­am­i­na­tion of a coun­try’s soul.

Nos­tal­gia For The Light can make you swoon at a glo­ri­ous high- def­i­ni­tion im­age that seems to be a desert land­scape, and turn that awe to hor­ror as you un­der­stand what you’re re­ally see­ing. It can make you feel the haunted sor­row of a 70-year- old woman who’s been search­ing for her van­ished hus­band for half her life. And it can make you won­der at the idea that the mys­ter­ies of outer space might be a con­ve­nient dis­trac­tion for a na­tion ter­ri­fied, even now, to cast its gaze in­ward.

This is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing, won­der­ful, in­valu­able work. Apr 30, 3: 30 pm, TIFF 4

NW

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