The Salt of the Earth

“Little did I know that I was going to discover much more than just a photographer” (Wim Wenders)

Winner of the Prix Special du Certain Regard at Cannes 2014, The Salt of the Earth is a documentary about the life and work of Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian photojournalist who, over a forty year period, has travelled to more than 120 countries documenting the changing and astounding face of planet earth. Co-directed by German director Win Wenders (Wings of Desire, Paris,Texas) and Salgado’s son Juliano, this film presents Salgado’s work in a simple and unadorned way, letting the man and his images tell their own story.

Considered the greatest living photographer by many, this breathtaking documentary explores the full range of Salgado’s stunning work. His photographs capture the beauty of the natural world, and also the horrors of war, famine and environmental disaster.
Through the use of Wenders’ “two-way mirror” technique – which allows Salgado to scrutinise and explain his own work, while appearing to be right in front of the director’s camera – we accompany the photographer on a privileged journey through his adventurous life, his courageous work and the personal transformations he has undergone as a result of the scenes he has witnessed.

The portrait is profound and compelling. The uncommon story of a complex man is unfolded with subtlety and skill in a classic structure tracing Salgado’s journey from economics student to anti-dictatorship activist to global wanderer and artist. At some point along the way, his life and work become inseparable.
Intimate yet universal, bleak and full of hope, Salt of the Earth is a moving exploration of both the light and dark of our human nature.

Salt of the Earth will be at LA Cinema on Saturday 20th of February.

Review by Karin Waters