The Salt Of The Earth – about Sebastião Salgado
Last week I watched the documentary “The Salt of the Earth” about documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado. This is one of those films that I can’t stop thinking about, which is a good thing.
For those that aren’t familiar with Salgado’s work, he is a Brazilian photojournalist and social photographer that has traveled the world photographing indigenous cultures and the social effects of major geo-political actions on these areas. Largely self-directed, these photo shoots have been published into large-format books that have helped raise awareness of mankind’s effect on human communities.
The film, co-directed by Wim Wenders and Salgado’s son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado deftly weaves interviews with Salgado, footage of him shooting, and exploration of his photo sessions with commentary by Wenders, Salgado’s wife Leila as well as his son Juliano. Much of the film is shot in black and white, reflecting Salgado’s choice of shooting in black and white although some fade to color sequences are there, which provide for some great dramatization and a reminder of why black and white can be so effective for documentary photography.