Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Shooting the Revolution Film Series at Blinken OSA: Salt for Svanetia
June 14. 2017 6pm Blinken OSA Archivum
Salt for Svanetia / Dzim Svante / Sol’ Svanetii
Mikhail Kalatozov, USSR, 1930, 62 min, silent with Russian intertitles and English subtitles
Salt for Svanetia is a haunting portrait of a village in the remote, snowbound region of Caucasus, Svaneti. Celebrated for Mikhail Kalatozov’s masterful expressive camera work, the film instantly placed him alongside the great Soviet directors. Salt for Svanetia is based on Sergei Tretyakov’s script and includes episodes from Kalatazov’s earlier film The Blind Woman, which had been banned for distribution, along with nonfiction footage he shot in Svanetia. The Svans are shown as people of archaic culture, retaining medieval practices and living a natural economy. Kalatozov’s ethnographic fiction combines authentic medieval towers and re-enacted events to visualize Tretyakov’s indictment of “three locks that keep the Svans in the dark middle ages: houses, roads, and the dead.” The combination of bird’s eye panoramas with a subjective camera, diagonal, low-angle shots and dynamic editing emotionally affect the viewers with images of isolation in picturesque and austere conditions. The poetry of repetition and juxtaposition, distance and extreme close-up, wild rhythms and radical constructivist angles blends fiction and documentary in a powerful and expressive visual statement.
The screening is introduced by Dr. Oksana Sarkisova (Blinken OSA)
Free admission. Limited seats are available on a first come first served basis from 5.40 PM.
Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives / Research Room 1051 Budapest, Arany János utca 32.