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 »
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
_Saltmen_ is a long film for its genre, and quite often the pace is much slower than that expected by Western audiences. That being said, I enjoyed it thoroughly both in terms of interesting subject matter and the magnificent images this film contains. Some of the scenery is truly breathtaking, and there is enough of interest that most should be able survive _Saltmen_ with minimal use of the fast-forward.
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