October 25, 2011, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

The USC School of Cinematic Arts and the Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics invite you and a guest to a special screening of

Nostalgia for the Light

Written/Directed/Edited by Patricio Guzman
Produced by Meike Martens and Renate Sachse

7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007
To RSVP for this screening, CLICK HERE.
Prix Chalais Winner, 2010 Cannes Film Festival
Best Documentary Grand Prix, 2010 European Film Awards  
Centerpiece, 2011 Documentary Fortnight, The Museum of Modern Art  
Top 10 Best Movies of 2010, Sight & Sound
Critic’s Pick, The New York Times

About Nostalgia for the Light

For his new film, master director Patricio Guzman, famed for his political documentaries capturing the history and politics of Chile (The Battle of Chile, Salvador Allende, The Pinochet Case), travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth. Atop the mountains of the Atacama Desert, astronomers from all over the world gather to observe the stars. The sky is so translucent that it allows them to see right to the boundaries of the universe.

The Atacama Desert is also a place where the harsh heat of the sun keeps human remains intact: those of Pre-Columbian mummies; 19th century explorers and miners; and the remains of political prisoners, “disappeared” by the Chilean army after the military coup of September 11, 1973.

So while astronomers examine the most distant and oldest galaxies, at the foot of the mountains, women, surviving relatives of the disappeared whose bodies were dumped here, search, even after twenty-five years, for the remains of their loved ones, to reclaim their families’ histories.

Melding the celestial quest of the astronomers and the earthly one of the Chilean women, Nostalgia for the Light is a gorgeous, moving, and deeply personal odyssey.

35mm print provided courtesy of Icarus Films. Not Rated. Running time: 90 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


Director's Statement

The desert is a vast, timeless space that is made up of salt and wind. A fragment of planet Mars on planet Earth. Everything there is motionless. And yet this stretch of land is filled with mysterious traces of the past. There are still ruins of villages, two thousand years old. The trains abandoned in the sand by the 19th century miners have not moved. There are also some gigantic domes that look like fallen space vessels in which the astronomers live. All around there are human remains. When night falls, the Milky Way is so bright that it projects shadows onto the ground.  
For an astronomer, the only real time is that which comes from the past. The light of the stars takes hundreds of thousands of years to reach us. That is why astronomers are always looking back, to the past. It’s the same for historians, archaeologists, geologists, paleontologists and the women who search for their disappeared. They all have something in common: they observe the past in order to be able to better understand the present and future. In the face of the uncertain future, only the past can enlighten us.    
Memory guarantees us life, as does the warmth of sunlight. Human beings would be nothing without memory –objects with no pulse- with no beginning and no future. After 18 years of dictatorship, Chile is once again experiencing democracy. But at what price... Many have lost their friends, relativhave lost their memory, perhaps forever.

-- Patricio Guzman

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge. Please bring a photo ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

About The USC Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics

The Levan Institute for Humanities and Ethics, USC College, issues a Grand Challenge to every new student who comes to USC--to engage with, understand, and internalize the timeless values at the core of our humanity. The Institute collaborates with departments, professional schools, and programs across the university to bring students and faculty together with authors and artists, philosophers and practioners, and the ethical voices of our time.

To visit their website, click here.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago
Phone: 213.740.2330