The Pearl Button

Critics Consensus

Deliberately paced yet hypnotically absorbing, The Pearl Button offers a poetic look at the wonders of the natural world -- and humanity's place among them.

94%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 47

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 396

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The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar) Videos

The Pearl Button Photos

Movie Info

Filmmaker Patricio Guzmán examines the link between Patagonian waterways and genocide.

Cast & Crew

Patricio Guzmán
Voice
Narrator
Patricio Guzmán
Director
Patricio Guzmán
Writer
Adrien Oumhani
Executive Producer
Katell Djian
Cinematographer
Emmanuelle Joly
Film Editor
Pamela Chamorro
Art Director
Show all Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar)

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (3)

  • This is a rapturous, unsettling movie about beauty, mystery, and unimaginable horror.

    March 24, 2020 | Full Review…
  • This documentary holds every card in the pack, from geology to anthropology to the history of tribes and tyrants, and plays them like a master.

    December 28, 2016 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • This haunting Chilean documentary is more poetry than journalism as filmmaker Patricio Guzman compares the fate of the indigenous people of Patagonia with that of the disappeared of the Pinochet regime.

    April 8, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • As always, Guzmán unearths details that establish resonant connections between diverse worlds (the "pearl button" of the title proves typically allusive) but at a brief 82 minutes this feels like too many streams gathering in one overcrowded pool.

    March 20, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The Pearl Button is a piece of visual poetry that meanders along the waterways, coastline and history of Chile, coming into sharp and horrifying focus on the atrocities of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.

    March 18, 2016 | Rating: 4/5

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Patricio Guzmán's essay-style documentary is a deceptive but very moving affair.

    March 18, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar)

  • Aug 06, 2015
    First film I viewed at the Melbourne International Film Festival of 2015, a beautifully shot and composed documentary, focusing on the primitive Chilean water landscapes and culture along the country's boarder/coast. A lot of great insight into the mystical understanding of this culture as well as how long it has survived up til modern times. Its big essential viewing on subjects I wouldn't have ever known, especially about Chile's past dealt with dark and intimidating historical stories that are really fascinating.
    Luke E Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2015
    The rambling nature of Guzmán's poetic digressions makes this film frustrating despite his sensitive intentions, and so it seems more like a mixed bag of cheesy esoteric assertions about water and random musings on indigenous people, dictatorships, pearl buttons and supernovas.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar) Quotes

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