New York City-based distribution company Kino Lorber has announced the U.S. theatrical release of The Pearl Button / El bóton de nácar the mesmerizing documentary by Chilean filmmaker Patricio Guzmán, which opens Friday, October 23 at the IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza Cinema in New York City, followed by Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, Santa Fe and Washington DC in November.
Hailed as a "cinematic accomplishment," (Indiewire), The Pearl Button premiered earlier this year in the main competition of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for Best Script.
After contemplating the heavens in Nostalgia for the Light, Guzmán turns his masterful eye to the ocean to uncover the history of the indigenous people of Patagonia. In pre-colonial times, the nomadic Kaweskar (or “water people”) lived and thrived in harmony with the sea; today they have all but vanished.
Interviewing the last of the Kaweskar, Guzmán chronicles the terrible devastation wrought by this almost complete genocide, discovering an unsettling parallel to the thousands who were disappeared by more recent regimes.
The Western Patagonia, located in the south of Chile, has endless islands, islets, rocks and fjords. There are estimated to be around 46,000 miles of coastline. Parts of this region have never been explored. It encompasses the far south of the continent and stretches from the Gulf of Penas to Staten Island (the southernmost point of South America).
This immense labyrinth of water reminds us of mans’ aquatic origins and the history of humanity. In it are the voices of the Patagonian indigenous people, of the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Some say that water has memory. The Pearl Button shows that it also has a voice.