Staff Review: The Pearl Button

Digital Reporter James Krisp reviews The Pearl Button

If you have a question to ask the world and have a hint of a desire to retrieve the spiritual answer, then this might just open your eyes to a relationship of discovery. The Pearl Button is the latest documentary by Patricio Guzmán, it was sold to me as a film about watery Chilean supernatural landscape meets outer-space. With this description and my previous experience with this director’s work in Salvador Allende I knew I would be in for a treat.

Patricio Guzmán has a great way of building his films and knows how to take you on a journey. So if you like big landscapes, discovering more about how people see and the way in which we live and have lived in the world then book your seat. This is an amazing discovery for both the eyes and the mind. The cinematography and audio will take you down to the waters edge building a story of past relationships with the sea. The indigenous Patagonians describe a fragile relationship once lived, with an identity that has long fallen away from their modern day life.

Everything about this film took me by surprise. Patricio Guzmán is very clever in the way that he builds the timeline of this documentary taking from source to fact, relationship to element. Definitely one for the big screen, I was continually moved by the simple detail of a close up or the skill of good storytelling. The Pearl Button seems to be waving at you with its left hand and without realising it becomes your right. With a fascinating subject matter that is simple “everything is water” but with twists and turns and intrigue into a subject matter that affects us all. And for me, the discovery of a Chilean history I had very little knowledge of but now what to explore more.

Patricio Guzmán has done a wonderful job of combining historical fact with the spiritual understanding of the past. If you like twists and turns, links that amaze you and facts that shock then The Pearl Button is one for you. Trust me you’ll want to see it again – I did.

The Pearl Button screens here at HOME from Fri 18 March. Watch the trailer, book tickets and find out more here.

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