Explore Chile and Its Tragic Past in ‘Pearl Button’ at BACC

BANGKOK — See the visually enchanting volcanoes, glaciers and mountains of Chile and learn about its dark past through “The Pearl Button” (2015).

From European colonization to the military dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980s, the country’s tragic history is told through its rivers, seas and oceans in this Chilean documentary film.

Directed by veteran director Patricio Guzman, who has made movies since the 1960s, the film garnered significant praise for its picturesque landscapes and poetic depictions of Chile’s troubled past: “If water has a memory, it will remember this,” as is said in the film.

The film triumphed at the Berlin International Film Festival last year winning best script before also picking up the Lumieres Award for best documentary in France in February.


The title of the film carries a double meaning: Firstly it refers to a Jemmy Button, who was “bought” with one button in 1830 and subsequently taken from Chile to England. It also references buttons from clothing attached to bodies thrown into the sea during the brutal military dictatorship era.

The screening starts 5pm on Saturday in the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre’s fifth-floor auditorium.

Admission is 60 baht. The 82-minute film will be shown with both English and Thai subtitles.

Soraya Nakasuwan, director of 2007 documentary “Final Score,”selected the film. She will moderate a discussion about the screening in Thai with English interpretation.


The annual Cinema Diverse: Director’s Choice takes place every two months at BACC showing international films selected by Thai directors. The program this year is scheduled to run from May until November. “The Pearl Button” is the first film of the season.

Bangkok Art and Culture Centre is located next to BTS National Stadium.