The Salt of the Earth (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 2, 2015 by Dennis Amith
If you are a fan or a person who respects the work of Sebastião Salgado, “The Salt of the Earth” is highly recommended. Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado has done a wonderful job in compiling this film but most of all giving us a wonderful look into the life and the mind of one of the world’s most important photographers.
TITLE: The Salt of the Earth
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 85 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 Aspect Ratio), English/Portuguese 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: July 14, 2015
Directed by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders
Written by Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, David Rosier
Produced by David Rosier
Executive Producer: Wim Wenders
Co-Producer: Andrea Gambetta, Lelia Wanick Salgado
Music by Laurent Petitgand
Cinematography by Hugo Barbier, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado
Edited by Maxine Goedicke, Rob Myers
Sebastiao Salgado as Himself/Photographer
Wim Wenders as Himself/Narrator
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado as Himself/Narrator
Lelia Wanick Salgado
For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastiao Salgado has been traveling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He had witnessed some of the major events of our recent history: international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty.
Sebastião Salgado, the photojournalist and social documentary photographer who is well-known worldwide for his photography.
Featured in exhibits all over the world, gallery director Hal Gould has called Salgado as “the most important photographer of the early 21st century”.
From his most famous pictures taken at the Serra Pelada gold mine in Brazil to various tribes and landscapes and wildlife, filmmaker Wim Wenders (“Wings of Desire”, “Buena Vista Social Club”, “Pina”) and Salgado’s son, Juliano Ribiero Salgado has celebrated the work of Sebastião through their 2014 documentary titled “The Salt of the Earth”.
The documentary would win a special award at the Cannes Film Festival.
And now “The Salt of the Earth” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics in July 2015.
Discover the 40 years of Sebastião Salgado, his thoughts of his famous work capturing humanity and also nature, but his thoughts when he sees the photos and his memories of when he took those shots.
All this and more in Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado’s “The Salt of the Earth”.
“The Salt of the Earth” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The film looks absolutely gorgeous in HD as colors are vibrant during outdoor scenes, closeups show great detail, black levels are deep but most importantly, the colors and the detail stand out. It’s important to note that the documentary showcases photography but the photos look great in HD.
I didn’t notice any artifacts or any problems with picture quality, “The Salt of the Earth” looks great!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Salt of the Earth” is presented in English/Portuguese (note: The back of the package shows as English but I am assuming the other language mostly spoken throughout the film is in Portuguese) 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English – Audio Description Track 5.1 Dolby Digital. The film is primarily dialogue driven as we have narration by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, interviews with Sebastiao Salgado and more. Dialogue is crystal clear and some outdoor scenes that showcase the ambiance of the environments presented.
Subtitles are in English and English SDH.
“The Salt of the Earth” comes with the following special features:
- Filmmaker’s Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.
- Looking Back with Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado – (11:33) The directors discuss their experiences of making “The Salt of the Earth”.
- Deleted Scenes – (10:02) Feature ten deleted scenes of more footage not included in the film.
- Theatrical Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “The Salt of the Earth”.
“The Salt of the Earth” comes with both the Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.
Sebastião Salgado is a photographer that is passionate about photography and capturing humanity and life.
With an eye for what he wants to capture, for many who has traveled throughout the world, looking at his magnificent photography, you realize how he has covered so much of humanity and its landscapes but also has captured the good and bad, the light and dark, the hope and greed of what exists. Like art, his photos has a story and for those fortunate to visit a gallery featuring his work know some background of his most famous works.
But with “The Salt of the Earth”, Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado gives us a better idea of what went on behind the camera for the elder Salgado and his present thoughts behind them but also his feelings of what photographing humanity and landscapes has taught him.
And this is what Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado has done amazingly well, by showing us how Sebastião takes his photos and his process by accompanying the world renown photographer through various countries, getting to know the man behind the camera but also knowing more about his past work.
The film shows gives us insight to Sebastião Salgado’s work such as how he became a photographer, traveling with his wife to various locations but also giving us insight to his famous photographs such as his photos from Serra Pelada gold mine in Brazil.
We also watch Sebastião photographing tribes, while Wenders and the young Salgado film from afar and seeing how Sebastião works with his subjects.
But you can see at a young age, how he was interested in photographing the poor, photos of those who were stricken by famine, people forced out of their homes, refugees traveling miles to find safety, people killed by unfortunate circumstances and discovering the greed of humanity and the tragedy, violence and brutality he caught on camera.
And while the film focuses a lot on Sebastião’s past, you also get to see his work in the present time and to see how his mission, his work, has not wavered as he is still passionate of capturing humanity and nature behind the lens.
But as the film is very much a tribute to the work of Sebastião Salgado, the film is also of family bonding or more of discovery as Juliano Ribeiro co-directs this film as a way of discovering his father, the photographer and adventurer for the very first time.
As for the Blu-ray, the documentary goes back and forth with showcasing photography from various decades and video footage from the present. The sharpness and detail of the photography in the film is well-done. Sebastião Salgado’s photography looks absolutely magnificent. The lossless soundtrack features clear dialogue with music and also English subtitles that are easy to read.
Special features including a filmmaker’s commentary, deleted scenes with more footage not included in the film and also Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado looking back at working on the film.
It’s important to note that for those wanting to watch the film with children, be aware that because Sebastião Salgado goes deep into the Amazon to feature a tribe, the men, women and children in the tribe are completely nude.
Overall, if you are a fan or a person who respects the work of Sebastião Salgado, “The Salt of the Earth” is highly recommended. Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado has done a wonderful job in compiling this film but most of all giving us a wonderful look into the life and the mind of one of the world’s most important photographers.
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