Patricio Guzmán’s “The Pearl Button” (El botón de nácar) finds the seventy-four-year-old documentarian alternating the vast natural beauty and the cruel history of his native Chile. Guzmán draws on similar landscape, including a 3,000-mile coastline, and incident, genocides of natives, the peregrinations of ancient water nomads, and the murder of political opponents by Pinochet, as in his bountiful 2010 “Nostalgia for the Light.” There is more explaining than necessary, much of which does not explain, but suggests deeper, darker connections like the depths of the ocean, but the image seethes, a succession of tumults of lyricism. 82m. (Ray Pride)
“The Pearl Button” opens Friday, November 13 at Siskel.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.