Salt of the Earth is a microcosm of life on a planet that consumes itself methodically.
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The Dead Sea water level has been drastically receding for the past 30 years. This year, on the same week that the Dead Sea hit the shortlist for The New 7 Wonders of the World, five old sailors were called up to clear the Sea's clogged pump with their dredger. Salt of the Earth is the story following the lives of those five men as everything around them falls apart. The harsh conditions take their toll on the men and on the sea, the work is endless, the heat is unbearable and from their focal point in the lowest point on earth, they watch the sea level plummet. Through their personal story, the film presents a microcosm of life on a planet that consumes itself methodically.
Why this movie?
After working for years as a Seagoing Captain, I reached the Dead Sea as a Dredger Master in 2006. As any Sailor knows, a day's most worthy pursuit is of a good story, and after working the Dead Sea for a year I decided to make those stories come alive. I collaborated with Hilla Medalia and we decided to tell the story of a natural resource on the verge of desiccation. It's the saga of five hard working men in inhuman conditions, extreme heat, endless hard work and intense relationships. It's a human story paralleled by natural disaster playing out in real-time, a live display showing the results of our mass consumption.
Minerals extracted from the Dead Sea are vital for industries everywhere. Magnesium, aluminum, potash and concentrated chlorine are some of the main resources mined from the sea. All over the world , as cities continue to expand, the need for these resources grow. The more we consume, the more minerals are mined.
The sea level is dwindling quickly but the Industry around the Dead Sea artificially maintains the sea level around the areas important to tourism. Scientists have mixed forecasts and the Tycoons claim nothing is out of order, but there are five men, working together for 35 years, that know only one truth. Unless there is immediate positive intervention the Dead Sea, possibly one of the world's 7 New Wonders, will be gone within 15 years.
As of now, we've exhausted all of our personal savings on productions costs. While our dedicated crew is quite patient, expenses for travel and equipment take their toll. We are now asking for public support in backing this project so we can continue shooting during the crucial voting period for the New 7 Wonders. During this time, we will follow the crew of the dredger "Maria" in their dilapidating work on the Dead Sea and will capture more of their dilemma as the sea level continues its swift descent.
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