In a remote region of Chile, Canadian filmmaker Alison McAlpine immerses herself amongst people who watch the sky. Some are there for the stars and planetary bodies, others just happen to live nearby in the harshly beautiful valleys, mountains, and deserts. Narrated by the filmmaker, Cielo is a personal story about the celestial realm, as well as an investigation into the human mind and spirit.
The camera captures people’s hardscrabble lives with animals and rusted-out cars just below the world-famous telescopes. From algae gatherers who work by moonlight, to goat herders and/or astronomers who muse about the profundity of space, Cielo is a potent and powerful reminder to be humble and attentive to what it means to live on a precarious planet. Mythology, storytelling, imagination, and infinity—the sky is the first thing that invites us to think beyond ourselves. It is impossible to overstate the extraordinary visual quality of this film, with starscapes and light shows which are wild, intense, and literally cosmic. -KR