“CIELO” captures the heavens over Chile’s Atacama Desert

CIELO, Alison McAlpine’s 2017 documentary about the night sky over Chile’s Atacama Desert screens at Film Forum for one week only, Wednesday – Tuesday, August 15 – August 21, 2018. $15


Spanish is a naturally poetic language. “Cielo,” the word for “sky” actually means heaven.

The Atacama desert is a very dry high plains between the Andes and Chilean Coast Mountains. It is one of the world’s great places for astronomy because there are few clouds, rain or light pollution. The La Silla, Paranal and Las Campanas observatories are based there.

Anyone who grew up in a desert knows that even though deserts are perceived as barren wastelands, they are actually full of life. You just have to slow down to see it.

The film looks at the stunning night skies as seen by the desert’s farmers, cowboys, miners and astronomers.

To quote the astronaut Dave at the end of the universe in Arthur C. Clarke’s famous novel 2001, A Space Odyssey, “The thing’s hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God! — it’s full of stars!”

“Oh my God! — it’s full of stars!”

CIELO is a Juno Films release.

CIELO Tickets

Film Forum tickets are $15 ($9 for members).

Tickets are available at the door and online.



Visit Film Forum

Film Forum just completed a renovation in Summer 2018, so it is really nice.

Film Forum

209 West Houston, New York, NY 10014
(between Sixth Ave and Varick)
Hudson Square (West SoHo), Manhattan
(212) 727-8110


  • (1) (2) to Houston St (walk half a block east)
  • (C) (E) to Spring St (walk three blocks north and half a block west)


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