Salt of the Earth (2014): Wenders’ Documentary of Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado

Salt of the Earth (aka under the French title Le sel de la terre), Wim Wenders’ biographical documentary was co-produced by Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.

It portrays the works of Salgado’s father, the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado.

The film compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2014 Cannes Film Fest, where it won the Special Prize.

Later, it was nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar at the 87th Academy Awards.

It won the 2014 Audience Award at the San Sebastián Film Festival and the 2015 Audience Award at the Tromsø Film Festival.

It also won the César Award for Best Documentary Film.

Salgado’s photographs and videos that are featured in the film explored natural environments and the humans who inhabit them.

His black and white photos illuminated how the environment and humans are exploited to maximize profit for the global economic market.

Co-directed by Salgado’s son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, the film also contains recollections from his childhood of a father who was absent a lot, and the times he accompanied his father on trips.

The film follows 40 years of Salgado’s work from South America, to Africa, Europe, the Arctic, and back home to Brazil focusing on international conflicts, starvation and exodus, and natural landscapes in decline.

Salgado begins a career as an economist with his wife, Lélia, by his side. During a stint in Paris, Lélia buys a camera,[12] and Salgado discovers his love of photography.

He uses his photos and videos to illustrate his life and work beginning with exile from Brazil and subsequent transition from economist to artist and explorer.

Salgado begins working full-time as a photographer in 1973, first news photography then documentary-style; Lelia supported him.

Salgado travels around South America, including the countries neighboring his native Brazil, where he spends time among and photographs native tribes like the Zo’é, who lived lives not much touched by the modern world.

Salgado travels to the Sahel region of Africa, shown in unflinching video and photographs.

Salgado refers to the famine in Ethiopia as a problem of distribution, not just a natural disaster. He documents the largest ever refugee camps and the innumerable deaths that occurred there, from hunger, cholera, and cold. His work covering famine in Africa brings worldwide attention to the region and the underlying causes.

After photographing the Yugoslavian war and Rwanda after the genocide to one year later, Salgado loses hope for humanity. Going back to Minas Gerais, he founds Instituto Terra and re-forests his family land. Then he is inspired to photograph the wildlife.