RKS Film: “Desert Space”: Fascination vs. Credibility

Who amongst us is not fascinated by UFO’s? But who believes there is evidence that enables us to transcend fascination and convert us into a believer?

The Chilean documentary “Desert Space” reveals the fascination with UFO’s is a universal phenomenon or at least it extends to Chile.

Leonel is 58-year-old man who is a security guard at a mining company in the Atacama Desert. He is an airplane nut and has a large collection of military and commercial aircraft models. His interest in UFOs began when he was living in Sydney and took countless photographs and videos of planes landing and taking off. But in these there were sometimes shimmering silver objects that he believes were UFOs and identical objects are found in his Chilean photographs and videos. Are they birds or weather balloons? Apparently the first documented case of UFO sightings was in the Atacama Desert in 1868 by a group of miners who reported seeing a metallic bird flying in the skies.

There are like minded UFO believers in Leonel’s community and many of them have given up trying to persuade others of their UFO sightings. Leonel calls a UFO sighting vigil in the dessert and a dozen or people assemble and hold hands around a fire and point lasers in the sky to no avail. No alien contact.

We learn that Leonel has his ex-wife arriving from Australia to remarry. A strange somewhat incongruent wedding ceremony becomes part of the documentary. I am not sure why other that it establishes Leonel is no eccentric as he can focus on more that UFO’s and have a good time at a party?

Walk away with what you can after viewing this documentary. My take is that Leonel is nothing but a regular guy with a passion for UFOs. And like many of his ilk they remain a minority in a sea of skeptics always seeking cold hard evidence and even when they see it they refuse to believe it.

A documentary about a man with a passion. Call him a nutball if you wish but do revel in the stunning beauty of the Atacama Desert which is so spectacular it looks like a scene from a different planet. In the opening and closing scene Leonel is holding what appears to be a diving rod in the desert. It is as if Leonel is in another planet himself. Is it that his beliefs have in effect made him an alien on earth!

The documentary had its international premiere at Toronto Hot Docs a few weeks ago. It no doubt will be making the rounds on the documentary film festival circuit.

You can see the trailer here https://hotdocs.ca/whats-on/hot-docs-festival/films/2022/desert-space

Directed by Yerko Ravlic.

RKS Film Rating 81/100.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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