Cine Latino: The Pearl Button


The Main 3 Sat, Nov 21, 2015 3:00 PM
The Main 3 Mon, Nov 23, 2015 1:30 PM
The Main 3 Wed, Nov 25, 2015 9:15 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$10.00
Film Info
English Title:Cine Latino: The Pearl Button
Program:Cine Latino
Release Year:2014
Runtime:88 min
Type:Documentary Feature
Print Source:Kino Lorber
Director:Patricio Guzmán
Producer:Renate Sachse
Editor:Emmanuelle Joly


Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Script at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival. In The Pearl Button, Chilean master-documentarian Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light) poetically explores Chile’s 2,670 miles of coast line, Patagonian indigenous people, early explorers and their unique relationships with water.

The ocean contains the history of all humanity. The sea holds 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 a mysterious button that was discovered in its seabed. Chile, with its 2,670 miles of coastline, 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, of the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Some say that water has memory. This film shows that it also has a voice.

Director's Statement

Western Patagonia
The largest existing archipelago. Located in the south of Chile it has endless islands, islets, rocks and fjords and is known as “Western Patagonia”. 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. According to the German scientist Theodor Schwenk, the inner ear is a winding mollusk, the heart is the meeting of two underwater currents, and some of the bones in our bodies are coiled in a spiral, like a whirlpool.

Water in the Cosmos
Water doesn’t just belong to earthlings. It is a common element in the Solar System. It is found in the form of vapour in some planets: Jupiter and Saturn. It is found as ice on Mars, the Moon, Europa, Titan. Beyond the Solar System there is also a lot of water in other bodies. In Chile, in 2010, a few stars were detected from the “La Silla” observatory that may contain liquid water and that orbit the planet “Gliese”, in constellation Libra, 20 light years away from the Earth. At present, nobody can deny the possible existence of an archipelago such as Patagonia there.

The Water People
Making a film about these places also inspired me to film part of its inhabitants’ history. In the words of Theodor Schwenk: “...the act of thinking resembles water due to its capacity to adapt to everything. The law of thought is the same as that of water, always ready to adapt itself to everything”. Perhaps this explains how a group of humans managed to live here for ten thousand years, isolated and in polar temperatures, with winds of 124 miles per hour. It is thought there were eight thousand people in the 18th century. Now, around twenty direct survivors remain.