Owen Gleiberman
October 09, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Araya

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
Limited Release Date
10/07/09
director
Margot Benacerraf
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B+

More or less unseen for half a century (it has just been restored and will play in select cities), Margot Benacerraf’s starkly beautiful 1959 documentary Araya is the rare film whose austere stylistic impersonality is a key aspect of its elemental power. Benacerraf records the rituals of workers in a Venezuelan salt marsh — men who lift salt chunks out of the ocean shallows, then tote the crystals in baskets to form giant pyramids — in labors unaltered from 500 years ago. The movie has an undertow of poetic Marxism: It reveres this work, yet also silently protests its noble, grueling sameness. B+

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST