The Cordillera of Dreams
(La cordillère des songes)
A haunting and allusive exploration of the cultural impact of [Chile’s] most spectacular geological feature: its snowcapped mountain spine.Jessica Kiang, Variety
The third film in Patricio Guzmán’s trilogy (with Nostalgia for the Light and The Pearl Button) exploring Chile’s traumatic history through cinematic meditations on landscape, geography, and time, The Cordillera of Dreams focuses on the country’s most imposing geographic feature, the Andean mountain range that runs the length of its eastern border. Flying over the range, Guzmán anticipates returning home to Santiago, but the city is unrecognizable; his childhood home is an empty shell, and even the smells are different. In conversations with artists, a writer, and a volcanologist, Guzmán explores the layered meaning of the mountains in relation to the 1973 coup and the rise of Augusto Pinochet, a seismic shift that led to the torture, death, and disappearance of thousands of Chileans and caused many others, like Guzmán, to leave. Pinochet’s regime stifled dissent and imposed neoliberal economic policies that resulted in extreme economic disparity, which persists today. Seeking evidence of missing history, Guzmán turns to filmmaker Pablo Salas, who has been documenting Santiago’s protests since 1982. In contrast to the emptiness Guzman finds elsewhere, the overflowing shelves of Salas’s office are a precious treasury attesting to ongoing struggle and hope for a better future.