A Film that Teaches

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A Film that Teaches


Christopher Lloyd

The Salt of the Earth

A film review by Christopher Lloyd

Art can be expressed as a medium that engages the spirit and the imagination.

“The Salt of the Earth” certainly does that.


The film maker superimposes photographs by Salgado on a conversation that continues throughout the film between Grandfather, father and son; a career that spans more than fifty years.

Photograph is derived from two Greek words meaning painting with light.┬áSalgado’s images are typically high-contrast and stunning in the subjects they portray.

a14e14e4-be9c-490d-b4ca-f35375e6136f But I left the theater profoundly disturbed and dismayed. Salgado chooses to portray, in most of his work, humanity under stress.


He spent several periods in Africa: in Somalia, Ethiopia, the Sudan, Mali, Niger.


The portrayal of famine, disease, drought, starvation, and the evil of mankind towards fellow man left me speechless and powerless.


It disturbed me at a fundamental level and as I write this I’m still overwhelmed. Some of this may be attributed to a tragedy in his own life: his second son was born with Down Syndrome.

Later in life he switched to the topic of nature and the World, still with exactly the same eye to framing pictures, and I was able to “enjoy” this facet of his work.

However, this film is a tour-de-force.

The documentary style draws the audience into the conversation between the Delgados and we get a real feel for the humanity of this exceptional photographer.

Art engages the spirit as well as the intellect and this wonderful film does that.