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Araya (1959)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 1959 (Venezuela)
"Araya" is an old natural salt mine located in a peninsula in northeastern Venezuela which was still, by 1959, being exploited manually five hundred years after its discovery by the Spanish... See full summary »


Margot Benacerraf
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
José Ignacio Cabrujas José Ignacio Cabrujas ... Narrator (spanish version)
Laurent Terzieff ... Narrator (french version)


"Araya" is an old natural salt mine located in a peninsula in northeastern Venezuela which was still, by 1959, being exploited manually five hundred years after its discovery by the Spanish. Margot Benacerraf captures in images, the life of the "salineros" and their archaic methods of work before their definite disappearance with the arrival of the industrial exploitation. Written by Carlos Javier Gomez de Llarena <gomezll@ibm.net>

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User Reviews

Araya film
24 May 2014 | by maddiepeaceSee all my reviews

The Araya film made ​​in 1959 by Venezuelan filmmaker Margot Benacerraf allows us to reflect on the importance of this place, not only in the twentieth century, but for all seasons , at the beginning of the movie there is a narrative about what happened when, during the colonization , these salt were discovered , and the incredible beauty of this finding was disclosed to the Spanish monarchy , for this a fortification was built in this place, to protect it from invaders. Throughout this film the hard work in the salt is evident , working hours of workers, their dedication , skill and sacrifice shown . In the movie the lives of three families is narrated: Salazar, Pereda and Ortiz, these people are intertwined and we can see how difficult it was to work in the salt mines in the 1950s, pictures of the currency used to pay shown the salt workers often replace the official currency and could buy them in warehouses and other establishments in the region,is considered cultural heritage of Venezuela and a classic of world cinema, this movie should not be seen as a documentary because it was not the intention of Benacerraf, her goal was to tell the story of the people and their work in the salt mines,it is filmed in three locations: Araya, El Rincon and Manicuare and people who appear in the film belong to these places and they are not actors.This film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 1959 , the talented Margot Benacerraf is an example trump international scopes , she became the salt of Araya a known and important place elsewhere in the world , she also honored and immortalized through the film work of employees of the salt , worthy of respect and admiration . She created the National Cinemateque in 1966 giving the necessary importance to the art of cinema.This movie is amazing and really inspirational .

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Official Sites:

Official site


Venezuela | France



Release Date:

1959 (Venezuela) See more »

Also Known As:

Araya See more »

Filming Locations:

Araya, Estado Sucre, Venezuela

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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