Blurring the early lines between documentary "facts" and fiction, this often forgotten piece of propaganda is the best way to get started with the georgian master. In true soviet style we see how different montage rythms, powerful lightning and varying camera techniques create specific tones for the characters and the intended political message, in a time where just letting the cinematograph roll was good enough.
The "image- movement" in its fullest splendor: a frame exists as self-expression and a communicative language in a chain of multiple images, by counterpoint and significant complement. In "contre-plongée", men and animals are framed as a cutout of an existence bounded by the grandeur of the spaces - atmospheric, geographic - that subjec and dimension them. Cinema as the space of life.
Glorious Soviet documentary about a small village called Svanetia, whose lives are dominated by local land barons and backwards religious practices that waste their precious resources. Essentially a call to bring modernity to provential people, SALT FOR SVANETIA is a fascinating window into a vanished culture. While much of it is clearly staged, Kalatozov (CRANES ARE FLYING) makes his case brilliantly.