Streaming: Nostalgia for the Light
(Nostalgia de la luz)
May 8–August 16, 2020
In Nostalgia for the Light Patricio Guzmán examines the strangely beautiful work of astronomers using the mammoth telescopes in the remote highlands of Chile’s Atacama Desert. The images of heavenly bodies they see are millions of years old, their light reaching us only now. The telescopes are in a place so high and dry that there is nothing to interfere with the view of the heavens. But there is another side of the Atacama. Here is where the Pinochet dictatorship quietly established its biggest concentration camp. In an attempt to cover up its crimes, the military regime dumped the bodies of its critics by the thousands in this same desert in the 1970s. Just as assiduously as the astronomers search the heavens, relatives of the disappeared comb the desert searching for the remains of the victims, the scientists as detached and joyful in their pursuit as the relatives are impassioned and somber. We meet them both—although they never intersect with each other—on a seemingly similar quest: searching the past, looking for the light.