Renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado’s photos are brilliant as well as dramatic as it captures the life in modern world. The documentary screened at IDSFFK on Saturday, ‘The Salt of the Earth’ is equally brilliant in capturing the photographer’s four-decade-long professional career and the essence of his works. Like his works, this documentary awakens us to the horrors of modern age – be it wars, starvation or exodus.
Noted German filmmaker Wim Wenders along with Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado directed the documentary. The film presents you with an array of visuals from the turbulent past – the stunning images of the gold mines of Serra Pelada, the horrors of famine at Sahel, genocide in Rwanda and the distressing images of fire at Kuwait oil mines after Iraq invasion, to name a few.
For this film, Wenders and Ribeiro travelled along with Salgado to many locations where the photographer had originally shot those amazing yet distressful images.
While the monochrome images taken by Salgado are a glowing tribute to people who are dispossessed and leading a harsh life due to socio-political reasons, ‘The Salt of the Earth’ turns out to be a perfect homage to Salgado.
Salgado, who started his career as an economist, later shifted to photography and travelled through Latin America, Asia, Africa and Central Europe to tell the agonizing story of human kind. According to him life is a continual struggle to exist.
It is the compassion that Salgado had for these people that lies behind the spirit of his images, says Wenders.
The film was appreciated by the audience at IDSFFK, many of whom were not so familiar with Salgado.
“Wim Wenders was quite a popular master filmmaker among the IDSFFK crowd and his films had been screened at IFFK and IDSFFK earlier. The film ‘The Salt of the Earth’ was a new experience. The merit of the film is that Wenders had let the images of Salgado speak for himself,” said Dhanesh, a delegate at the festival.