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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

The Salt of the Earth aka "Le Sel De La Terre" [Blu-ray]


(Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders, 2014)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Decia Films

Video: Curzon / Artificial Eye



Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:49:55.250 

Disc Size: 33,447,187,231 bytes

Feature Size: 25,501,958,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.68 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 14th, 2015



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



LPCM Audio 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio 3279 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3279 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



Trailer (1:54)
Deleted Scenes (36:12)
• Papu's Song (2:48)





Description: For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastićo 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. Sebastićo 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.



The Film:

The Salt of the Earth,” Wim Wenders’s new documentary about the life and work of the Brazilian photographer Sebastićo Salgado, elegantly inhabits a moral and aesthetic paradox. Mr. Salgado’s photographs illuminate some of the worst horrors of the modern world: starvation, war, poverty, displacement. They are also beautiful, dramatic visual artifacts, and their power has a double effect. We are drawn into the contemplation of terrible realities, but at the same time our attention turns to the person bearing witness.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

Photographer Sebastićo Salgado's images on the big screen are a visual gift as much as the subject matter of his work is a scream for change. Salgado, when we first see him here, could be John Ford looking out over the plains.

Yugoslavia 1994 - 95, Tanzania 1994, Kuwaiti oil fields burning 1991 - Salgado, who has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2001, raises awareness through images that can have the composition of a Bruegel painting or tell of a father's personal tragedy with the force of Schubert's Erlkönig.

Co-directed by Wim Wenders, in silvery black and white, with the photographer's son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado shooting in colour, The Salt Of The Earth (Le Sel De La Terre) starts with the famous Serra Pelada gold mine photographs, the series, shot in Brazil in the 1980s, that makes one think of timeless madness, organised greed, physical teamwork and otherworldly skies, all at the same time.

Excerpt from Eye For Film located HERE


Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The Salt of the Earth gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Artificial Eye. I believe the film as shot in HD and the detail is at a high level. It is dual-layered with a supportive bitrate. It looks flawless - the black and white still photos show good contrast and the color segments have true, tight, colors. The 1080P exhibits a pleasing image quality in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio although many of the sequences are differently framed inside the 1.78 matte.  It's pristinely clean and this Blu-ray showcases the documentary with a very appealing transfer.



















Audio :

The AE Blu-ray of The Salt of the Earth offers a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3279 kbps. Aside from the narration and dialogue the audio is really a notable for the wonderful score by Laurent Petitgand (Wender's Tokyo-Ga, Antonio + Wenders Beyond the Clouds etc.). It sounds amazing - pieces such as Papu's Song, Serra Pelada, Wrangel Island, Sick Soul - running along the side the documentary - seething and mysterious. There is also a linear PCM stereo track (2304 mbps) and I thought I heard something famous (classic) but I could be wrong. Nothing but positives here for the audio transfer as well. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.


Extras :

Extras include over 35-minutes of Deleted Scenes - cut from the final version. They mimic much of the edited documentary and can only suggest the cuts were for commercial or cosmetic reasons. There is a brief section of Laurent Petitgand's poetic Papu's Song piece - lasting only 3-minutes.



A stunningly rich documentary with hypnotic visuals. I found this both educational and fascinating. It's a beautiful film to put on during a friends/family get-together but you do risk the visuals curtailing conversation as people get mesmerized by the photos.  The Artificial Eye / Curzons Blu-ray provides an excellent a/v presentation with some supplements. This is easy to put in the 'don't hesitate' category for those who appreciate documentaries. This is a keeper - certainly recommended! 

Gary Tooze

September 1st, 2015


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
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Gary W. Tooze






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