Every since I moved to Utrecht in the Netherlands, there have been numerous occasions when I was asked how it feels to move from a huge city like Istanbul to a small city like Utrecht and don’t I miss it? My response is, I miss my family, and I miss my friends, and I miss the view of the Bosphorus and the familiarity of things. But I don’t miss a lot of things as well. This is not a post of all the things I don’t miss, but rather, one thing that makes Utrecht and the Netherlands quite fun to live in. Yes, it is much smaller in size. But that also means when the annual Latin American Film Festival comes around, I don’t have to wake up at 10am on a Saturday to get tickets a month in advance because otherwise they will sell out. Or I don’t have to leave my house 3 hours before the concert so I can go through rush hour traffic, find a parking spot, eat something and “enjoy” the concert and still have a 1-hour drive back. I simply make my schedule, buy my tickets the week of the festival, then bike for 15 minutes to Louis Hartlooper Complex and enjoy myself.
Yes, it is that good.
For the third time, I was excited to get tickets and watch movies that I might otherwise not hear about. Take yesterday’s example, Nostalgia de la Luz or Nostalgia for the Light. A documentary, which is not necessarily something I do often (damn the documentaries are boring myth, and a slight laziness on watching things that make my brain work). The documentary is in a way about the Atacama desert in Chile. It is, it turns out, the one big brown batch on Earth that is visible from the universe. It is dry, nothing grows on it, nothing lives on it – except for astronomers and several observatories. But is has history. A lot of history. A lot of dirty political history. And the documentary makes the most elegant parallel between the search of the astronomers in Atacama desert who have the best view of clear skies and secrets of the universe with the women who regularly search the desert for the remains of their loved ones who went missing (most killed by Pinochet) years ago.
Below is the trailer for the documentary, and you might notice the Cannes festival logo showing up at some point. Just saying.