Dir: Patricio Guzmán
NR, 84 min, Chile / France, in Spanish w/ English subtitles, 2019
Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Cannes Film Festival, master filmmaker Patricio Guzmán’s The Cordillera of Dreams completes his trilogy (with Nostalgia for the Light and The Pearl Button) investigating the relationship between historical memory, political trauma, and geography in his native country of Chile. It centers on the imposing landscape of the Andes that run the length of the country’s Eastern border. At once protective and isolating, magisterial and indifferent, the Cordillera serves as an enigmatic focal point around which Guzmán contemplates the enduring legacy of the 1973 military coup d’état. Along the way, Guzmán interviews artists, writers, and documentarians, drawing out their conflicted feelings towards the Cordillera and its relationship to Chilean national identity and history.
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“Guzmán’s late-career trinity is a stunning achievement in the cinema of the hidden pattern and the startling, unexpected connection.” —Variety
“The great Chilean documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzmán does not grapple with the idea of eternity in his new picture, ‘The Cordillera of Dreams.’ He sits with it, patiently. He considers it through metaphor, as his camera slowly considers the chain of Andes Mountains that makes up the cordillera of his movie’s title. Drone shots are overused in movies, often predictably so; this sublime film, though, abounds in great, distinctive ones. Guzmán’s lens flies the way you would wish your own eye could, unveiling incredible natural beauty and revealing secrets: a labyrinth of gorges for instance. The filmmaker’s narration nuzzles up to the metaphysical, and frequently anthropomorphizes the mountains that practically seal off Guzmán’s homeland. But given his own story and the story this picture needs to tell, the movie toggles between heights and depths.” —The New York Times