Director: Farida Pacha
"This stunningly poised portrait of a season's salt-panning … [is] a meditative, immersive picture of labour as an act of faith, made with striking flair and beauty." – Sight & Sound
Year after year, Sanabhai brings his family to a seasonal, saline desert, where they harvest what they proudly proclaim to be the world's whitest salt. Knee-deep in brine, in the glare of the blinding sun, they toil ritualistically for eight months, only to have their Sisyphean stone roll back down the mountain when the monsoon floods the desert and all traces of their work.
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.
Winner of the Best First Feature prize at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and the Firebird Award for Best Documentary at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
"Exquisite, a film crystalline in its austere purity … Every one of [DOP] Konermann's shots is damn near perfectly composed and balanced." – Hollywood Reporter