Dir: Patricio Guzmán
After “Nostalgia for the Light”, which was set in Chile’s Atacama desert, the driest place on earth, Patricio Guzmán’s latest documentary features the coastal area of the country’s extreme south. “The Pearl Button”, like its predecessor, is profoundly imbued with an elegiac lyricism, as Guzmán lovingly explores the stunning beauty of the Chilean coastline, while charting the horrors of its recent history. We learn of the ancient culture and way of life of the indigenous peoples of Southern Chile and how they were all but wiped out by 19th century European colonialists. Furthermore, Guzmán parallels that period with the years of the Pinochet regime, when it is estimated that over 1,000 political prisoners were “disappeared” in the Pacific Ocean. A ravishing achievement, both visually and emotionally, from the master of the poetic documentary.