4 user 80 critic

The Pearl Button (2015)

El botón de nácar (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 15 October 2015 (Chile)
1:45 | Trailer
Delving into the nearly-religious significance of water, this profound rumination on memory and loss bridges the gap between its mystical origins, Pinochet's coup d'état, and the secret of a mother-of-pearl button at the bottom of the sea.


Patricio Guzmán


Patricio Guzmán (concept)
11 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Martín Calderón Martín Calderón ... Self
Cristina Cristina ... Self
Patricio Guzmán ... Narrator (voice)
Ema Malig Ema Malig ... Self
Gabriela Paterito Gabriela Paterito ... Self
Gabriel Salazar Vergara Gabriel Salazar Vergara ... Self
Raúl Zurita Raúl Zurita ... Self


The ocean contains the history of all humanity. The sea holds all the voices of the earth and those that come from outer space. Water receives impetus from the stars and transmits it to living creatures. Water, the longest border in Chile, also holds the secret of two mysterious buttons which were found on its ocean floor. Chile, with its 2,670 miles of coastline and the largest archipelago in the world, presents a supernatural landscape. In it are volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. In it are the voices of the Patagonian Indigenous people, the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Some say that water has memory. This film shows that it also has a voice.

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User Reviews

A journey to Latin American identity.
20 October 2015 | by fullmontaldoSee all my reviews

Dynamic and fertile southern environments, and the most rugged terrain and desert; Chile is a country of majestic and impenetrable dualities.

However the ambivalence, it ends and joins in a story, the story of a continent mirrored in a Patagonia fisherman. Like the shameless flow of a creek; like the noise of the woods it develops: from the first indigenous people, the learning about the benefits of water; then, a colonization, a change and oblivion. A river stops running but no one cares.

The great filmmaker Patricio Guzman proposes in "The pearl button" both a deep look and a break from Latin American history.

The deep look of natural environments, with a sublime photography, footage and effects team as unexpected as exceptional. The pause, asking questions everybody does -but silently-, in various creative forms; Is there a limit to cruelty? Why we look at stars? Can we be, contrary to what we have been, a great family?.

A documentary that, as the pearl button, transcend time.

Highly recommended.

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France | Spain | Chile | Switzerland



Release Date:

15 October 2015 (Chile) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pearl Button See more »

Filming Locations:

Patagonia, Chile See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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