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3 December 2021: Araya


Margot Benacerraf, 1959, 90 min
Spanish with English subtitles  

A landmark work of Latin American feminist cinema and the only feature film by pioneering documentarian Margot Benacerraf, Araya is a poetic, visually arresting look at life on Venezuela’s Araya Peninsula, where generations of labourers have depended on mining the arid region’s salt pans for their livelihood. With industrial mechanization threatening to eradicate this difficult way of life, Benacerraf takes a final glance at the day-to-day routines of three families of salineros, capturing the strain of their work amidst the breathtaking but harsh landscape. From the salt miners to the fishermen who feed them, the film is a captivating, unsentimental tribute to the tenacity of their spirits. 

This screening is part of Human Resources, a season of films exploring the depiction of work and labour on screen. The season is curated by Ryan Ninesling in partnership with the National Film and Television School, Close-Up Film Centre, and the Genesis Cinema.