It is hard for me to put into words just how beautiful this film is. Shot in the Atacama Desert in the middle of Chile, the director focuses his camera just not on the physical setting but also the metaphysical one. He points his camera to the sky and shows us all the beauty that the stars can give us. Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world with no recorded rainfall. This makes it ideal for astronomers to view and study the galaxy’s past with high-tech and fascinating technology. But the director does not just show the stars’ past, but also his country’s past. Rocked by a dictatorship that destroyed the lives of thousands and thousands of people, Chile is a country that just wants to forget about their past. But a few women refuse to. Instead they comb the desert where Pinochet buried a couple of thousand political prisoners before moving to an unknown location. In this desert, you can find parts of these people who were picked up by the bulldozer used to move the bodies. These women search every day for a piece of their loved ones. They refuse to stop searching. They want answers just like the astronomers want answers.
The director links these two themes by exploring this idea. And he does it in such a way that it took my breath away. I wish I had seen this film when it came to my little art theater in town. This film begs for as big as screen as possible. It uses every inch of the screen to convey a beautiful sense of wonder. This film makes me not only want to go to this place to see how wonderful the sky is but also to help these aging women find their loved ones. No one should be robbed of their family like the people of Chile were. It is unfair to sweep the events of such a brutal dictator under the rug like the current government of Chile is doing. Instead they should do everything within their power to bring these people some closure by finding out where they took those bodies.
After seeing this film, it gave me need to not only study the cosmos but also to study Chile’s turbulent background. I am thirsty for a the ability to understand. To understand everything.