IMDb > Nostalgia for the Light (2010)
Nostalgia de la luz
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Nostalgia for the Light (2010) More at IMDbPro »Nostalgia de la luz (original title)

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Nostalgia for the Light -- Director Patricio Guzman travels to Chile's Atacama Desert where astronomers examine distant galaxies, archaeologists uncover traces of ancient civilizations, and women dig for the remains of disappeared relatives.


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Release Date:
17 March 2011 (USA) See more »
In Chile's Atacama Desert, astronomers peer deep into the cosmos in search for answers concerning the origins of life... See more » | Add synopsis »
11 wins & 11 nominations See more »
(8 articles)
2011 Nevada City Film Festival: Official Lineup
 (From Underground Film Journal. 17 August 2011, 2:49 PM, PDT)

A Look at Cine Las Americas So Far
 (From Slackerwood. 25 April 2011, 8:00 AM, PDT)

Polanski Triumphs at European Film Awards
 (From The Moving Arts Journal. 6 December 2010, 12:06 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
A very beautiful and profound movie See more (9 total) »


  (in credits order)
Gaspar Galaz ... Himself - Astronomer
Lautaro Núñez ... Himself - Archeologist
Luís Henríquez ... Himself
Miguel Lawner ... Himself - Architect
Victor González ... Himself - Engineer
Vicky Saaveda ... Herself
Violeta Berrios ... Herself
George Preston ... Himself - Astronomer
Valentina Rodríguez ... Herself

Directed by
Patricio Guzmán 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Patricio Guzmán 

Produced by
Antonino Ballestrazzi .... development producer
Jutta Krug .... producer: WDR
Meike Martens .... co-producer
Meike Martens .... producer
Fernando Osorio .... line producer
Verónica Rosselot .... executive producer
Renate Sachse .... producer
Cristóbal Vicente .... co-producer
Original Music by
Miguel Miranda 
José Miguel Tobar 
Cinematography by
Katell Djian 
Film Editing by
Patricio Guzmán 
Emmanuelle Joly 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Nicolas Lasnibat .... first assistant director
Cristóbal Vicente .... first assistant director
Sound Department
Fredy González .... sound (as Freddy González)
Michel Monier .... sound consultant: dolby
Jean-Jacques Quinet .... sound editor
Jean-Jacques Quinet .... sound mixer
Marie-Jeanne Wyckmans .... foley artist
Camera and Electrical Department
Cristóbal Vicente .... still photographer
Editorial Department
Ewa Lenkiewicz .... supervising editor
Eric Salleron .... color timer

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Nostalgia de la luz" - Chile (original title)
See more »
France:90 min | USA:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.See more »
[first lines]
[in Spanish, using English subtitles]
Himself - Astronomer:[voiceover] The old German telescope, that I've seen once again after so many years, is still working in Santiago Chile. I owe my passion for astronomy to it. These objects, which could have come from my childhood home, remind me of that far off moment when one thinks one has left childhood behind. At that time, Chile was a haven of peace isolated from the world. Santiago slept in the foothills of the Cordillera, detached from the rest of the world.
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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
A very beautiful and profound movie, 12 September 2011
Author: sofianotes1 from Bulgaria

The Atacama Desert in Chile is believed to be one of the driest places in the world. Some of its river beds have not seen water for more than 120,000 years. Because of its high altitude, nearly non-existent cloud cover, dry air, and lack of light pollution and radio interference from the very widely spaced cities, the desert is one of the best places in the world to conduct astronomical observations.

As a result, the world's astronomers flock to the Atacama to gaze out into the universe and to search for evidence and artifacts from the beginning of time. These "archaeologists of time" decompose the stars into their constituent elements one of which is calcium.

Elsewhere in the desert, other "archaeologists" search among the pebbles and dust for evidence of calcium. They are looking for bones. Or at least fragments of bones. They are the mothers, brothers, sisters and wives of Chile's disappeared. During Pinochet's military dictatorship many thousands of Chileans were abducted and killed and their bodies disposed of in the Atacama. Forty years later their relatives still search the desert for any sign or bone fragment that might give a clue to where their loved ones lie.

Patricio Guzman juxtaposes these two sets of archaeologists in his beautiful documentary, "Nostalgia for the Light". In many ways they both seek answers to the same question. They try to find the true meaning of life.

There are some very moving scenes in this movie. In one, a lady in her seventies sits in the desert, in tears, and proclaims that she will never stop looking for the remains of her loved one. In the other, a young Chilean astronomer, whose parents were killed by the government when she was only one, clutches her new born baby (this scene is just wonderful). She displays the transcendent wisdom of someone of far greater years as she explains how she has, through her work and observations, come to terms with their murder.

An unmissable movie.

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