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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Documentary

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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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User Reviews

 
Large pot of coffee
9 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I think Gerard's comments on the doc hit the nail on the head. Interesting film, but very long. It's definitely the antithesis to the new school of flashy, sexy, Moore-style docs. There is no narrator, no facts or side info interlaced, and no other gimmicks. What you see is what you get - a glimpse into the vanishing world of the Saltmen of Tibet. As a huge doc fan, I was surprised how much I lost attention with this film, namely due to the length and lack of dialogue. In the end though I would recommend it if the subject matter sounds interesting to you. It's beautifully shot, informative, and presents a valuable (and closing) window into the way of life of the Tibetan saltmen (and women :) - all important attributes of a good doc. But do put on a big pot of coffee, it'll help.


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