Have had the good fortune to make it to the evening’s first screening at Film Society of Bhubaneswar “The Pearl Button” – a magnificent, enlightening and moving film by the veteran director Patricio Guzmán. It is so difficult to define this Chilean film as a plain documentary for it educated, mesmerized, astonished and at the same time put me into a standstill with the cinematic brilliance this film offered.
This film has done a great justice to the huge budget it would have demanded. It is filled with stunning visuals by cinematographer Katell Djian. Keeping Water as its central theme it tried to narrate/weave around the facts how generations evolved around it, how many political atrocities got covered within it and why uprooting people from their natural homes will spell disaster in the long run. It connects a lot many distant dots revolving around the Chilean history to modern times drawing a parallel to the evolution of human beings and their ever-increasing appetite to deviate from Mother Nature. The Pearl Button which actually refers to a Button in two different but significant contexts is very interestingly narrated. The film grows on you every passing minute, so much so that you get washed away by the end of it. Yes, there is music in water, water has memory and water is life.
The film throws very important yet easily ignored aspects of human nature – that in uprooting someone from their natural origins their survival and identity remains no more significant; that nature in itself is a self-sustainable model and human intelligence trying to overtake it is just about living in a fool’s paradise; that the pluralism is only inflected on us by the vested interests while in the core all human beings are governed by their instincts which has been demolished and suppressed by modern day misuse of technology and adulterated morality.
The Pearl Button is one of those films where it is extremely difficult to elaborate on its content in simple sentences. Remember such films are an experience and some experiences can only be felt beyond what words can describe. It was screened in the main competition section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival and no wonder it won the Silver Bear for Best Script. It also won the Lumières Award for Best Documentary at the 21st Lumières Awards.
Quoting from a website “The Pearl Button unfolds with all the complexity of a spider’s web as we are encouraged to make connections between ancient and modern, recorded history and metaphysical musing, the tiny human event and the bigger picture to be found in a study of the cosmos. There is an unusual grace in the way Guzmán chooses to address such a long legacy of violence and oppression.”
Do watch this mesmerizing trailer of the film that will only fuel your curiosity to watch the complete work –
*** Blog Image Courtesy: From the Internet. No intention to misuse or commercialize.