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“Cielo: A beautiful film!! Photography, sound, structure, subject matter – enough to lift the spirits out of any earthly trough. A moving film in all senses of that word.”

– Walter Murch

“Seen on a big screen, these images — photographed by cinematographer Benjamin Echazarreta — have a transporting power that comes close to approximating what it must be like to actually stand in Atacama, gazing up in awe.”

– Hollywood Reporter

“No planetarium could hope to replicate the awe-inspiring spectacle that is Alison McAlpine’s Cielo, a documentary screening at the 2017 New York Film Festival.”

– Culture Trip

“This is the greatest biopic I’ve seen this year, Alison McAlpine’s look at the Night Sky from the Chilean Desert. Fantastic. CIELO is like SAMSARA meets PARTICLE FEVER… It is very much my jam.”

– Jordan Hoffman

“The first feature from Alison McAlpine, director of the beautiful 2008 “nonfiction ghost story” short Second Sight, is a dialogue with the heavens—in this case, the heavens above the Andes and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, where the sky “is more urgent than the land.” McAlpine keeps the vast galaxies above and beyond in a delicate balance with the earthbound world of people, gently alighting on the desert- and mountain-dwelling astronomers, fishermen, miners, and cowboys who live their lives with reverence and awe for the skies. Cielo itself is an act of reverence and awe, and its sense of wonder ranges from the intimate and human to the vast and inhuman.”

– NYFF55