Forays with Camera
After a remarkable year for documentaries, IDFA 2013 seemed to be a little on the quiet side but there were still a few gems to be found
Final word for the First Appearance award winner, Farida Pacha’s My Name is Salt. The stark, luminous rituals of salt mining have been manna to filmmakers from Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1930 Salt for Svanetia to Margot Benacerraf’s Araya (1958); and this stunningly poised portrait of a season’s salt-panning in the Little Rann of Kutch, a desert in Gujarat, keeps them fine company. Crisply sculpted out of found elements – epic flat landscapes, iridescent light, formations of salt rakers and mounds, abandoned vehicles, very occasional dialogue and diegetic music – it’s a meditative, immersive picture of labour as an act of faith, made with striking flair and beauty.
Nick Bradshaw, Sight & Sound, Feb. 2014 issue