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.
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A thoroughly beautiful and engaging film. I find that Guzmán set the bar pretty high with "Nostalgia for the light", but "The Pearl Button" tops it in some ways. I found the vastness with which Guzmán covers the macro and the micro cosmos of Chile's history absolutely stunning. Great documentary, and a must-see.
4,5. The cinematic dimension of this film exist exactly on the scale of its research and analysis: from the smallest to the universal, it's a cosmology (this is actually an essay) intertwined with a demiurgic cosmogony of cinema and the world. I only regret, sometimes, an approach to a more traditional concept of documentary, that, however, never denies the absolute uniqueness of the project and its development.
Guzmán fearlessly knocks down the blinders that are set up by reason to forge a path into Chile's distant—and recent—past, one which allows for a poetic and intuitive vision. By way of the elements, he draws us into his own contemplation of the existential and political in order to re-evaluate disconnected historical chapters in a part of the world that has witnessed more than its fair share of human cruelty.
The haunting beauty of the opening scenes is nullified by the deep rage and overwhelming sorrow that follows as we learn of the horrors perpetrated upon this country first by colonialists and then by the CIA-backed Pinochet dictatorship. By the end the sense of horror and disgust is tempered but slightly by the hope that perhaps indeed one day we all return to the stars.
Guzman is a terrific documentarian, and in the voiceover style of Herzog, follows his curiosity into the darkest areas of human history.
I do agree with others that some of the connections felt forced, which came across unnaturally.
Both beautiful and devastating. "The Pearl Button" combines cosmology, natural phenomena, history of indogenous people and Chilean political past into an impressive and lyrical documentary. Guzmán brings the pieces together with elegance you have to admire.