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‘Le Sel de la Terre’ – Salt Of The Earth – Review


Release Date: 15th October 2014
Director: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado - Wim Wenders
Writer: Wim Wenders - Juliano Ribeiro Salgado - David Rosier - Camille Delafon [Writers]
Cast: Sebastião Salgado - Wim Wenders - Juliano Ribeiro



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Posted October 26, 2014 by

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‘Le Sel de la Terre’ – Salt Of The Earth – Review

Have you ever been a spectator at the photo-exhibition performed by the photographer himself? If not, Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado granted this opportunity all the admirers of social photography. “Salt of the Earth” is a life-shots retrospective of Sebastião Salgado – famous Brazilian photojournalist, who traveled through more than 100 countries. His portrait of Joceli Borges, first published in his book “Terra”, is often associated with National Georgraphic’s well-known McCurry’s photograph of Sharbat Gula.

Photographer’s snap-shots hypnotize with its broad empathic transmission of chosen timeliness. Through black and white pictures Salgado guides across his personal joy, pain and suffering. He’s not just an observer who maintains aloofness, but the participant, feeling with victims. Sebastião was a witness of famine in the Sahel, poverty in northeastern Brazil, the genocide in Rwanda and the war in former Yugoslavia. With photos he cultivates sensibleness toward human ethical mutation, appealing to the social consciousness.

After 30 long years Brazilian photographer turns his view perspective 180 degrees, surrounding himself with the beauty of untouched lands. His latest photo-books are the ode to the beauty of Mother Nature. He’s picturing primitive tribes, animals of North Pole, spending the hours catching the right shot.

The film is not a conventional biopic; it is the history of mankind told through the personal story. The destroying power of civilization reflected in the subtlety of the human soul. Becoming aware of the cruelty and injustice, Salgado finds a solution in personal contribution into the nature, renewing the balance between non-excluding co-existence of human and natural environment.

Regardless touching beauty of the aesthetic composite, the most disappointing in the film, is the manner of material’s delivery. Monotonous rhythm is enveloped by dreary music and two main parts of the movie are poorly connected. There’s not much added value spectator can get from watching this movie, nothing that tells more than author’s pictures recount themselves. It feels deeply how directors, Wim Wenders and son of the photographer Juliano, treat Salgado with awe; however, they didn’t master his magnetic personality.

Whatever the case, be aware, watching “Salt of the Earth” awakes the strong desire to change the world, but as the greatest procrastinator, Scarlett O’Hara said “I’ll think about it tomorrow”.


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Aleksandra Zakharchenko
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