Director Wim Wenders: Sebastião Salgado documentary Salt of the Earth
German documentary maker Wim Wenders has once again received an Oscar nomination for his latest feature The Salt of the Earth. Having already been nominated for his pervious efforts with Buena Vista Social Club in 2000 and Pina in 2012, Wenders has proved himself once more. The movie tells the story of Sebastião Salgado, a global a former economist and, later, an exceptional photographer documenting the plight of so many disaffected people across the world. That Wenders himself is both a photographer and a global campaigner in his own right is particularly fitting.
Sebastião Salgado: photographs
The first thing that becomes apparent is Salgado’s extraordinary life. Having begun his career at the World Bank, the economist soon felt compelled to take a more direct approach to tackling global injustice. Thus began a photographic career charting the devastating effects of unfettered capitalism. Stark and unsettling images from the miners of Brazil’s Serra Pelada gold rush are shocking, but a hopeless warm-up for the images of children starving in Rwanda during the genocides and the refugees that spill out of the earth each year, disaster after disaster. This bleak sense of despair would soon come to characterise the activist’s work, until worn down by countless encounters with human suffering he turned towards a new project in 2004 that would breath fresh life into his 'sick soul.' His Genesis project, that rounds up the film and his career to date, is a love letter to the earth and filled with the most magnificent images of the brave, undefeatable earth. Bringing the audience with him out of the horrors of human cruelty, Salgado and the documentary eventually return to his home in Brazil and the new rainforest that he and his wife have grown on the farm of his childhood that was once reduced to baron sand and ash.
Interview with Sebastião Salgado
Fascinating though Salgado’s life is, Wenders’ film is more than a simple history lesson. By interviewing the photographer whilst he looks at the same images we see on the screen, Wenders aims to glimpse into the mind of the artist. What, we are forced to ask, are the consequences of a life spent in the midst of the world’s most brutal and tragic events? Is this a man, perhaps, who has seen too much? Salt of the Earth is both an eye-opening look at the destructive effects of mankind (both on fellow humans and on the earth itself) and also a personal exploration of Salgado himself. The film's happy ending comes as a huge relief to those who feel that they too have travelled into the dark heart of human cruelty and seen the brutally we can inflict upon one another. Bring tissues.
|What||The Salt of the Earth|
|Where||Curzon Chelsea, 206 Kings Road , London, SW3 5XP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
17 May 15 – 31 Jul 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Price||£ determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to book via the Curzon Chelsea.|