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369 Ratings


Directed by Margot Benacerraf
France, Venezuela, 1959


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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Araya Directed by Margot Benacerraf

What are people saying?

  • Tiago Schclar Leitao's rating of the film Araya

    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.

  • Jason's rating of the film Araya

    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.

  • Solowis's rating of the film Araya

    While it carries the biases of last-century ethnographic films, this is a masterpiece of the genre, and I'd probably never even hear about it if wasn't for mubi. Thanks mubi!

  • mariabaldor's rating of the film Araya

    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 mandarí 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.

  • Alberto Funkledink's rating of the film Araya

    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!

  • lina maj's rating of the film Araya

    (3.5) POETRY WITH A TOUCH OF ANTHROPOLOGY! The soundtrack, socks with holes and the seashell cemetary were great. I also fell in love with a grandma (abuela) in black dress.

  • Mike Jempson's rating of the film Araya

    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?

  • Slappy McGee's rating of the film Araya

    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.

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