Film review May 9, Montreal
The Pearl Button, Patricio Guzman’s spacey expository account of the obscure atrocity events Christian missionaries, empire-driven Europeans, and the nascent local regime inflicted on Southern Chile’s isolated tribes up into the 1970’s. Supported by the US, Pinochet’s bloody tyranny brooked no critics, especially those with any indigenous pretensions.
The sad history flows up to recent underwater recoveries of massive steel weights that sank humans (living and dead) thrown from helicopters.
The butchery included bounties on testicles and breasts. Like California’s grotesque history, little known and remarkable in its bloodthirsty course, the Pearl Button illustrates the covered-up savagery Chile hides behind high-tech successes like incredible telescope arrays atop the Andes.
- World class takes on a new meaning on this edge of the West Coast, but few dare to reveal what it really means as well as Guzman.