Coming to theatres today, Friday, October 23: THE PEARL BUTTON
Patricio Guzmán’s continued reminder of Chile’s history of violence made its world premiere at Berlin earlier this year, where it won the jury prize for best script. Its extensive festival run has included Toronto, BAFICI, Biografilm, Sydney, Jerusalem, Melbourne, San Sebastian, Bergen, Vancouver, London, and Yamagata, among others.
Just as the director’s NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT made a poetic connection between the Chilean desert and the victims of Pinochet’s violence buried within, so too does Guzmán draw links here between his nation’s extensive coastline and the secrets within its depths. In this case, the auteur reveals the haunting stories of the nomadic water-based Kaweskar indigenous groups who called these regions home until they were all wiped out in the wake of colonialism. But these were not the only people confined to a watery grave, as the director eloquently reminds us of the brutal techniques employed by the Pinochet regime to dispose of enemies of the state, turning the ocean into a mass grave for the disappeared. Guzmán’s film serves, then, as an elegy for the losses of both, separated by nearly a century.