The peninsula of Araya in Venezuela is one of the most arid places on earth. Since its discovery by the Spanish 500 years ago, the region’s salt has been exploited manually. Three stories underline the harsh life of this region—all of which vanished with the arrival of industrial exploitation.
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This is an incredibly beautiful documentary. Each scene has so much beauty and elegance that it makes you wonder if any of it was real. And of course it was, which makes it even more worthwhile to watch.
While the voice over, though it has its moments, is a bit much, and the Foley work often foregrounds a somewhat discomfiting artificiality, ARAYA is something of a triumph simply as visual art. Watching it, I very quickly lost any real interest in the ethnographic side of things, but remained utterly transfixed by the chromatic beauty of it and the finesse of the camera movements. Very beautiful and kinda hypnotic.
Es una pena no poder verla pq no tiene subtítulos en Español, no creo que sea mucho pedir poder acceder a todas las pelis con sub en Español, al fin y al cabo es la segunda legua más hablada en el mundo después del chino mandarín...se supone que esta era una plataforma para un público internacional, pero se nota que es para anglo parlantes que tienen la costumbre de manejar un sólo idioma, el inglés.
Not a great documentary, but amazing subject matter. The point is hammered home crudely that that the viewer is to pity these people and admire their tenacity. But we are presented only with an outsider's perspective with the narrator ruminating at length about how timeless their struggle is. The agency and humanity of the people is pretty much obscured. But their story is a fascinating one, however badly told!
Tremendous, horrendous yet ultimately problematic. No doubt a product of its times the commentary begs many questions. Are we supposed to feel nostalgic for the 'noble savagery' of the lives of these people or angry at their exploitation and glad to see mechanisation destroy the relentless monotony of their lives? Did the cinematography need to be so arch and arty?
Unfortunately for me, I could not get past the extremely awful voice-over narration. It is condescending and redundant, telling you pretty much what you are seeing onscreen. The "story" seems paper thin although the photography is quite beautiful. The images are clearly the main strength of this film. I wish it was just a dialogue-free movie with a few title cards. The movie would have been so much better.