7.5/10
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7 user 13 critic

Die Salzmänner von Tibet (1997)

In Tibet's Changtang region, nomads harvest salt to buy barley. A clan prepares four of its men for an annual trek to Lake Tsento, where they rake salt from shoals into piles, then into ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Margen ...
Old Mother
Pargen ...
Old Father
Zopon ...
Lord of the Animals
Bopsa ...
Novice
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Storyline

In Tibet's Changtang region, nomads harvest salt to buy barley. A clan prepares four of its men for an annual trek to Lake Tsento, where they rake salt from shoals into piles, then into bags, and onto their yaks to return, 90-days in all. After picking an auspicious day to depart, they feast, sing, tell stories, and race horses. Women are forbidden on this sacred trip. All is ritualized: Margen cooks, Pargen prepares burnt offerings and distributes meat, Zopon cares for the caravan of 160 yaks, Bopsa bends his strong back to arduous work. To each other they speak the secret language of saltmen; they pray and observe exemplary behavior. The goddess of the lake smiles upon them. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

22 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Saltmen of Tibet  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

DEM 5,499 (Germany) (2 January 1998)

Gross:

$146,437 (USA) (20 November 1998)
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Great Documentary
28 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

A documentary about a nomadic tribe in Tibet going out to a dry lake to get salt does not sound very appealing. But this is not a popcorn movie but a visual cultural feast whereby you partake of a rapidly vanishing morsel of humanity. The superstitions, the epic songs and poetry, the faith of a people who truly believe in following their own unique patterns of life are something the West had in the times of Homer but that is now, unfortunately, completely foreign to most of us in the "developed" world. We have lost the spiritual serenity that comes from following well established patterns of life, often with dire mental consequences in our increasingly soulless society. The film makers have woven us intimately into the fabric of these materially poor but spiritually rich and scrappy saltmen. And made us see that there was more to life than the shopping mall and pop culture. So disconnect your land lines, turn off your cells, turn off the driveway lights and sit back and ease yourself into a timeless adventure.


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