Oscar nominations for The Buena Vista Social Club and Pina attest to the way that the documentary seems to bring out the best in Wim Wenders. The Salt of the Earth is no exception as it pays tribute to the extraordinary life of photographer and environmentalist Sebastião Salgado.

Working with Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro, Wenders has created a film entirely in keeping with the humility of the subject. Hauntingly beautiful images are matched with illuminating testimony to create an utterly absorbing portrait. Salgado is a magnetic personality and he recalls some of the major projects of his career, including Workers and Genesis, an affectionate love letter to the planet.

Salgado recalls lengthy periods of his life when he saw ample evidence of death and destruction. Typically, he found creative ways to transcend that despair and the film ends in hope as we learn of the Salgado family’s success in re-building an entire ecosystem at the Instituto Terra in Brazil. A fitting tribute to an inspirational figure.

Allan Hunter
Screen International


Please note that the festival is over 18s only