Thursday, May 12, 2016
2016 Cannes Marathon: The Salt of the Earth
(Winner of the Un Certain Regarde Special Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival)
Directed by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribiero Salgado and written by Wenders, Salgado, and David Rosier, The Salt of the Earth is a documentary about the famed Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado and his work as a photographer. The film explores his methods into his photography as well as the things he likes to shoot as a photographer that includes parts of the world that is cut off from society, nature, and harrowing images of war and despair. The result is an incredibly ravishing and haunting film from Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribiero Salgado.
Considered one of the greatest photographers in the world, Sebastiao Salgado is a man who is known for creating arresting images of the world as it is seen. Whether it is shooting a large group of people mining for gold in the middle of the Earth, images of indigenous people in parts of the world, refugees kicked out of their homes, or images of nature. Salgado’s work is regarded as high standards in the art of photography as Salgado’s son Juliano and filmmaker Wim Wenders follow him through his travels starting in 2011 in Indonesia where Salgado was putting the final touches of his near-decade photography project called Genesis about nature and the idea that the world could be resurrected. The film wouldn’t follow Salgado in his travels but also at the farm his father used to run where it once this paradise full of trees and wildlife until the 1990s where it had dried up and all of the trees were gone.
It was through the suggestion of his wife Lelia about replanting the trees and start from scratch that would give Salgado not just a sense of hope but a renewed optimist as a decade’s worth of rebuilding would have this land later become the Instituto Terra. With Juliano shooting the film with Hugo Barbier as co-cinematographer, the film is shot mostly in black-and-white as much of Salgado’s work is shot in black-and-white with some scenes set in color including the land that is the Instituto Terra. Wenders would also talk directly to Salgado as well as see some of the photos that he had shot as they would be the basis for his photo book Genesis. Those moments are intimate while Wenders would also get the help of editors Maxine Goedicke and Rob Myers to compile some of the photos including footage of the late 1990s of Salgado’s father talking about his farm and other rare footage. Most notably some of photos that Salgado would shoot in the mid-90s as it related to the genocide in Rwanda and the Balkan wars as they are quite graphic as it says a lot about the ugliness of humanity.
With the aid of sound designer Aymeric Devoldere, Wenders and Julian Ribiero Salgado would provide some textures into the photos of Salgado as well as mix it with Salgado‘s own narration on the photos and Wenders‘ commentary. The film’s music by Laurent Petitgand is fantastic for its mixture of world and ambient music to play into the many images that Salgado has taken including the ones that are simple that include his own family. Wenders and Julian Ribiero Salgado wouldn’t just create a portrait of a man who would see the world at is but also in what it could be again in an age of increasing modernism and neglect.
The Salt of the Earth is an incredible film from Wim Wenders and Julian Ribiero Salgado that is tremendous portrait of the famed photographer Sebastiao Salgado. It’s a film that isn’t just about a man looking at the world and its many wonders but also in the fact that those wonders can still be resurrected following moments of despair and tragedy in the age of war, modernism, and neglect. In the end, The Salt of the Earth is a phenomenal film from Wim Wenders and Julian Ribiero Salgado.
Wim Wenders Films: (Summer in the City) - (The Goalkeeper’s Fear of the Penalty) - (The Scarlet Letter (1973 film)) - (Alice in the Cities) - (The Wrong Move) - (Kings of the Road) - (The American Friend) - (Lightning Over Water) - (Room 666) - (Hammett) - (The State of Things) - Paris, Texas - (Tokyo-Ga) - Wings of Desire - (Notebook on Cities and Clothes) - (Until the End of the World) - (Faraway, So Close!) - (Lisbon Story) - (Beyond the Clouds) - (A Trick of Light) - (The End of Violence) - (Buena Vista Social Club) - (The Million Dollar Hotel) - (The Soul of a Man) - (Land of Plenty) - (Don’t Come Knocking) - (The Palermo Shooting) - (Pina) - (Every Thing Will Be Fine)
© thevoid99 2016