DER Documentary

My Name is Salt

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by Farida Pacha
color, 92 min, 2013
in Gujarati
with English subtitles


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Year after year, Sanabhai brings his family to a seasonal saline desert in Gujarat India, where they harvest what they proudly proclaim to be the world's whitest salt, using the same painstaking, manual techniques as generations before them. Hardship and exploitation loom large in this film, but director Farida Pacha lets this speak for itself, instead fixing her gaze on the poetry and ritual of Sanabhai and his family's existence. Exquisite camerawork and a haunting score help Pacha expose the austere beauty of the subject.

“A beautifully-crafted meditation on the grueling work of salt production. [...] Director Farida Pacha and her cinematographer Lutz Konermann manage to distill this process into something exquisite, a film crystalline in its austere purity, like the commodity of the title. [...] Every one of Konermann's shots is damn near perfectly composed and balanced.” — Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter
“Crisply sculpted out of found elements [...] it's a meditative, immersive picture of labour as an act of faith, made with striking flair and beauty.” — Nick Bradshaw, Sight & Sound

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Winner, Best Feature Length Documentary, Best Cinematography, Mumbai International Film Festival, 2016
Winner, Audience Award, Provinziale Film Festival, Germany, 2016
Winner, Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival Award, Doha, Qatar, 2015
Winner, Best Film, Balkan New Film Festival (BaNeFF), Sweden, 2015
Winner, Best of Fest, Best Cinematography, CMS Vatavaran Environment & Wildlife Film Festival, New Dehli, India, 2015
Winner, Horizante Award, Five Lakes Film Festival (FSFF), Bavaria, Germany, 2015
Honorary Mention, FICA Environmental Film Festival, Brazil, 2015
Winner, Firebird Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival, 2014
Winner, First Appearance Award, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2013
Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2015
Haifa International Film Festival, Israel, 2015
Biberach Independent Film Festival, Germany, 2015
Film Southasia (FSA), Kathmandu, Nepal, 2015
International Environmental Film Festival, Paris, 2014
Planete+Doc Festival, Warsaw, 2014
DOK.fest, Munich Germnay, 2014
Edinbugh IFF, 2014

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Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts