The Salt of the Earth

Critics Consensus

While the work it honors may pose thorny ethical questions that Salt of the Earth neglects to answer, it remains a shattering, thought-provoking testament to Sebastião Salgado's career.



Total Count: 93


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,199
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Movie Info

For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has 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's life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last travels, and by Wim Wenders, himself a photographer. (C) Sony Classics

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Critic Reviews for The Salt of the Earth

All Critics (93) | Top Critics (31)

  • Wim Wenders' master stroke in The Salt of the Earth is to let the photographs of Sebastião Salgado speak for themselves.

    Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 4/5

    Wendy Ide

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The standout images should stay with viewers for the foreseeable future.

    Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Finally, it seems as if Salgado has gone beyond humanity in depicting the natural world: landscapes without people. His best work seems to transcend history itself.

    Jul 16, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Stunning imagery and a stirring story, about Sebastiao Salgado and his 40-odd years of shooting global catastrophe.

    Apr 30, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Top Critic
  • The authenticity and artistry of the images in "The Salt of the Earth" cannot be denied. In any context, they'd be unforgettable.

    Apr 17, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The Salt of the Earth is a celebration of the power of art to change the world, as well as an exploration of the considerable toll gifted artists sometimes pay for their talents.

    Apr 16, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for The Salt of the Earth

  • May 22, 2015
    While exploring themes of death and rebirth, "The Salt of the Earth" is specifically a powerful documentary about the life, times and work of renowned photographer Sebastiao Selgado. He excelled at capturing the scale of large events while never losing the intimacy of telling individual stories. That immediately becomes clear in this documentary with a series of photographs that he took at a South American gold mine that was populated by 50,000 men and which was the first of his work that Wim Wenders ever saw. Even more important is the way that Salgado's depictions of human suffering have alerted the wider world to any number of humanitarian crises across the globe. As Wenders puts it, Salgado has managed to combine his training as an economist and previous work for the World Bank with his photography to create a unique and very useful form of art. "The Salt of the Earth" also provides another vantage point, that of his now grown son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado who has filmed footage of his own, as he seeks to fully understand his father who was absent a lot of the time when he was growing up roaming the globe. Together, father and son travel to the Arctic Circle and encounter an uncooperative polar bear.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2014
    A profoundly revealing doc about this great artist worthy of our highest admiration for his unparalleled, eye-opening work of tremendous social consciousness, and it is so inspiring to see that he has started to regain hope in the world after so much disappointment.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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