Marfa Dialogues

Nostalgia for the Light + Star Party

September 15, 2018


Nostalgia for the Light directed by Patricio Guzmán. Courtesy Icarus Films.
September 15, 2018
Doors at 5:45, screening at 6pm
Star Party at 8:45pm
The McDonald Observatory Visitors Center Auditorium
Fort Davis, Texas
Free | Limited space available*

This film contains mature content that may not be appropriate for all viewers.

*To register please send your zip code and the number of people in your party to sarah@ballroommarfa.org or call 432-729-3600.


Ballroom Marfa is pleased to present a free screening of Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light at the McDonald Observatory. The film will be complemented by free entry to the evening’s Star Party and a chance to learn more about the McDonald Observatory’s participation in the Giant Magellan Telescope.

Nostalgia for the Light documents the landscape of the Atacama Desert through the lens of Chilean political history and astrophysics. Ballroom presents this free screening as part of a series of programs related to the current exhibition Hyperobjects, in which loans from the Observatory and the University of Texas at Austin are on view.

Despite the vast distance, the Atacama is directly connected to our West Texas Chihuahuan Desert via the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope. The University of Texas at Austin and the McDonald Observatory are Founding Partners of this international and ground-breaking initiative, “that promises to revolutionize our view and understanding of the universe.”

At 10,000 feet above sea level between the Chilean coast and the Andes Mountain Range, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on earth with some of the darkest and clearest skies. These conditions, in part shared by the Chihuahuan Desert, attract astronomers from all over the world. Guzmán’s film, set in the Atacama, simultaneously documents astronomers’ quest for distant galaxies and a group of womens’ poignant search for the remains of their relatives disappeared during Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship.

The screening will be paired with an opportunity to learn more about the Giant Magellan Telescope and the complementary science being performed at the Observatory that will impact the deepest levels of discovery science in astronomy.

Once the indoor programming has concluded participants are free to enjoy a complimentary Star Party – a night sky constellation tour and viewing of celestial objects through telescopes in the Rebecca Gale Telescope Park at the McDonald Observatory Visitors Center.

    This program is made possible by the generous support of The Brown Foundation, Inc.; City of Marfa; National Endowment for the Arts; Texas Commission on the Arts; Ballroom Marfa Board of Trustees; and Ballroom Marfa members.

    In-kind support provided by The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory and Icarus Films.

    Special thanks to Taft Armandroff, Lisa Gandy, Patricio Guzmán, Livia Bloom Ingram, Virginia Lebermann, Carolyn Porter, Katie Smithers, Laura Thoms, and the Visitor’s Center staff at The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory.