With zero humidity, South America’s Atacama desert is the driest place on earth – and the perfect location for astronomers to study the night sky. Scientists from around the world have flocked here, using giant telescopes to unlock the secrets of the galaxy. The climate and massive salt deposits also preserve the secrets in the earth, making the region a haven for archaeologists as well, who are able to study how the area has been a transit route for 10,000 years. But it is the more recent past – and its terrible secrets – which concern director Patricio Guzman. The desert hosted the largest concentration camp for political prisoners of the Pinochet regime, thousands of whom were assassinated and buried here; their remains still searched for by grieving relatives. In a thought provoking, stirring and meditative tour de force which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film FestivalGuzman explores the many paradoxes of a remarkable land.