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Cielo

"In addition to talk, the film features gorgeous, silent time-lapse images of the slowly wheeling night sky, a blanket of dust and stars torn by satellites and meteors. It will leave you starstruck." - National Post

“Somewhere between a Discovery Channel special and a Koyaanisqatsi-esque head trip, you’ll find Alison McAlpine’s exquisite portrait film Cielo.

“Cielo” is Spanish for sky, but it also translates to heaven, and that’s exactly the sort of ambiguity McAlpine uses to her advantage. She opens with a sort of invocation to the cielo of the Chilean Atacama Desert, and then we meet the people living underneath it. There are travelers, cowboys, miners, and an older couple just going about their lives. Then there are the planet hunters at different observatories, some from Switzerland, others from Spain and Chile. They analyze data, they tinker with their telescopes, they sing songs about the celestial unknown. There’s also a wandering photographer looking for UFOs and a teacher retelling ancestral stories. “We are invited to a party in the sky,” he explains.

“The images in the film are unmatched by any Hollywood blockbuster, but it isn’t just the awesome views of what looms above — it’s also the faces of those looking from below.” - The Village Voice

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