Salt of the Earth
Documentaries about photographers frequently top my Best Of lists, but even this one knocks the socks off any you’ve seen before.
With a natural talent that is impressive for a man who studied to be an economist, Sebastiao Salgado’s pictures are exquisitely framed, their subject matter captivating and sobering. As much an adventurer and amateur anthropologist as photographer, the Brazilian has spent decades capturing the realities of human struggle in places as far-flung as Rwanda, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea and Siberia.
But we’re not just here to gaze at the art – this film takes us behind the lens as the incredibly humane Salgado describes the context and often heartbreaking stories of each photograph. He delves into the aftermath of famines, the stoic motivation of golddiggers, the unstinting passion of musicians. It’s the most beautifully illustrated and poignant history lesson you’ll ever have. Take your teens, take your parents. Just don’t miss it.