After the acclaimed Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgia de la Luz, 2010), with its study of the desert, the stars, light and time, as well as the recent memory and remains of disappeared people in North Chile under Pinochet, Patricio Guzmán takes us on a journey into the water and ocean of Southern Chile.
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 and their tragic history, the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Some say that water has memory. This film gives it a voice. Using both archival images and gorgeous new footage, The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar) manages once again to convey different periods of history and geography in a gripping tale of our modern world.
Dir. Patricio Guzman, France/Rest of the World, 2015, 82 mins, subtitles
Cast (as themselves): Patricio Guzman (narrator), Raul Zurita