Country: France / Brazil / Italy
Movie Review: “The Salt of the Earth” is a masterly documentary about the life and work of the amazing Brazilian photographer, Sebastião Salgado. This touching piece of cinema was co-directed by the acclaimed German filmmaker Wim Wenders and Salgado’s eldest son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. Carrying an enormous emotional weight and impressive sense of timing, the stunning pictures of Mr. Salgado are slowly displayed, at the same time that we listen, completely stupefied, to his own voice, explaining the circumstances in which they were taken after a brief historical contextualization. There are times in which Salgado’s face merges into his pictures – a face that never expresses any sentimentality. However, through his voice, whether in French or in Portuguese, we notice the deep impact those moments had on him. After so many years covering death in its most various forms - war, genocides, disasters and starvation - it was admirable how Salgado sought desperately for life in its most pure manifestations – nature, primitive people, wildlife. ‘I got sick in the soul’ he says, expressing a painful discontentment for what we, humans, are capable to do to one another. ‘Suddenly I felt the urge to make a tribute to the beauty of our planet’. Everything in “The Salt of the Earth” has the right proportions. There’s no exploitation of the subject, and there are no forced attempts to make greater what is already great. A profound respect for a courageous man and his work is what we see here. I felt I could have spent another two hours looking at his photography, both heartbreaking and dazzling visions, and listen to the tremendous stories supporting it. Unforgettable pictures, unforgettable stories, unforgettable film.