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Saltmen of Tibet, The (1997)
Starring: Margen, Pargen, Zopon, Bopsa
Director: Ulrike Koch
Category: Foreign, Documentary
Studio: Zeitgeist
110 mins



Shot under extreme conditions in one of the world's most remote locations, "The Saltmen of Tibet" is a work of sublime beauty and epic proportion. Documenting the ancient traditions and day-to-day rituals of a Tibetan nomadic community, the film transports us into a realm of endless mystery untainted by the tides of foreign invasion or encroaching modernity.

Step by step we follow the three-month pilgrimage to the holy salt lakes of the Changtang region. Observing age-old taboos and steadfast homage to the deities of nature, four men meticulously plan their yak caravan to fetch "the tears of Tara," the precious salt from the holy lakes of northern Tibet. It is said that the salt lakes are the underground's eyes on the universe and only by maintaining goodwill with their powerful goddess may one be guaranteed a bountiful supply of salt.

Journeying to the rooftop of the world, the film overwhelms us with its evocation of the saltmen's herculean endurance and spirit. The result is a breathtaking collage of image and sound, a majestic tribute to the purity of a landscape, people, and tradition facing extinction.

- from the 1998 Sundance Film Festival catalogue

Golden Spire Award(Sociology International)
1998 Golden Gate Awards- San Francisco International Film Festival

Prix Nanook (Grand Prix)
1998 Dix-septi