Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 23
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 72
Shown at Cannes in 1959, the year after Venezuela's last dictator Marcos Perez-Jimenez was overthrown, the documentary inadvertently highlights the kind of exploitation of the poor that can lead to rebellion. While the dictator escaped to Miami with $13 million, salt workers were piling up mounds of salt on the flat sands, making barely enough money to keep them in arepas and black beans. Between the hot, tropical climate and the sores on their feet, the job these workers do every day is
Dec 31, 1959 Wide
May 17, 2011
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This astonishing documentary, so beautiful, so horrifying, was filmed in the late 1950s, when an old way of life had not yet ended.
Like the late famed anthropologist Claude LÚvi-Strauss, the movie wants to find a culture and explain it to the world. Araya finds a degree of romance in that discovery, and is weaker for it.
Margot Benacerraf's starkly beautiful 1959 documentary Araya is the rare film whose austere stylistic impersonality is a key aspect of its elemental power.
Are you one of those moviegoers who likes discovering forgotten gems? Have I got a jewel for you.
Araya is a tone poem, a poetic portrait of an ancient existence in the modern world, with narration (scripted with Pierre Seghers) to match...
Not a documentary in the traditional sense ... this stark black and white film has the feel of an avant-garde science-fiction opus.
steadily unfolds and immerses the viewer seamlessly into the daily rhythms of the people
Be grateful that Araya is here, in an exquisitely restored print, with images of struggling Venezuelan peasants as luminous as the Mexican photographs of Edward Weston.
A film of the simplest and most complex of working worlds. A wonderful visual poem.
Not just an artifact of a pre-industrialized culture infiltrated by modern equipment, it's an artifact of perspective and form.
The movie is visually stunning, deploying fluid camerawork and stark black-and-white imagery to record the hardscrabble lives of Venezuelans living and working on a remote salt marsh.
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