Take Action around 'Nostalgia for the Light'
- Create or support a local astronomy club. Invite astronomy faculty from local universities to report on discoveries from the Atacama Desert telescopes and encourage local amateur astronomers to share their hobby with young people in your community.
- Host a panel discussion to reflect on what we learn from astronomy and archeology. Include panelists from faith-based perspectives, philosophers who do not incorporate belief in a deity and practicing scientists.
- Study the history of the Pinochet regime and its ties to the United States. Use what you learn to provide input to governments, organizations and international courts regarding their approaches to human rights abuse cases.
- Pull together a mini film series featuring films and PBS programs (e.g., NOVA, scienceNow, Secrets of the Dead and Cosmos) that examine the work of astronomers, archeologists and historians. Host in-person or online chats that encourage people to compare and contrast how producers and directors approach the subject matter.
Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.
Nostalgia for the Light is a remarkable meditation on memory, history and eternity. Chile’s remote Atacama Desert, 10,000 feet above sea level, provides spectacularly clear views of the heavens. But as one of the driest places on earth, it also preserves secrets from the past: human remains, from pre-Columbian mummies to the bones of political prisoners "disappeared" during the Pinochet dictatorship. In this otherworldly place—and through the filter of stunning cinematography—earthly and celestial quests meld. Archaeologists dig for ancient civilizations, women search for their loved ones and astronomers scan the skies for new galaxies. Their search for truth challenges viewers to consider the human actions and ideas that link past, present and future.
In this lesson, students will watch and discuss video clips that show how two men in Chile coped with being prisoners in concentration camps during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Each student will then create a non-fiction picture book that tells the story of one of these men and provides historical context.
This multi-media resource list, compiled by Penny Talbert and Rebecca Zinner of the Ephrata Public Library, provides a range of perspectives on the issues raised by the POV documentary Nostalgia for the Light.