Wieliczka - The Salt of the Earth, "I watched with great pleasure. This is undoubtedly a gem among contemporary documentary films. Indeed, the work combines the reliability of information about scientific facts in geology (including tectonics, mineralogy), history (almost 1000 years of history of the region and 700 year history of the mine) and culture (especially art), with breathtaking scenery of Wieliczka's underground natural magic and historical relics created by generations of miners, the passage of time counted in centuries, the landscape forming the background and subject of the narrative with the inclusion of an incomparable actor.
The mood of the film differs from the previous documentaries about the mine. Some objects and places are presented in a whole new way, from a different point of view than before. While nothing is perfect, this film is almost perfect. It certainly shows that Sadrolin Tam has worked on it for a very long time, trying to study the mine from every side and angle. He is definitely the greatest expert on the history of underground salt excavations among the many artists who have documented it. And it is the presence of Jerzy Stuhr as a guide that gives the film its unique flavour.
After the Première Jerzy Stuhr wrote in the memorial book: “I was deeply moved by today's premiere. I feel, today I was introduced to the society of miners, which I am very proud of”. “I was given an important task to tell the viewers a story of the mine. It is the mine that is the 'main hero' of the film. I tried to perform my task in a modest way, and as well as I could. I think the film managed to express the spiritual essence of the mine.” The film gave me opportunity to get to know the mine and to learn a lot about this place. This was a completely different experience from my previous one with the mine's underground, in 1984 while working on “Seksmisja”. I had not been in Wieliczka since then”...
Wieliczka - The Salt of the Earth, with Jerzy Stuhr as a guide, Produced and Directed by Sadrolin Tam, screenplay by Kevin Benn. The film helps us to understand the operation of the mine by showing the multitude of risks involved in it - cave-ins, fires, water, and at the same time the technical and organizational measures put in place to combat them. This way the viewer better understands the function of the mine and the work of the miners. This is a very important aspect of the movie, because very rarely one can find materials that would show that "live" part of our past with regards to its economical aspects.
The jury awarded film: CULTURAL TOURISM - Sadrolin Tam, "Wieliczka - the Salt of the Earth", Sweden
Special Award of Tourist Organization of Brus - for best tourist film. Special Award of Nature Protection Institute of Serbia for the best ecology film. Film »WIELICKA-SALT OF THE EARTH», Director: Sadroldin Tam, Poland.
“The Salt of the Earth has received good reviews for cinematic beauty and its interesting multilingual production. We also appreciate the access to information about the origins and producers of the film, as well as the images on the website created especially for the film: www.thesaltoftheearth.net. The website makes it possible to spread the film to more people who want to learn about this unique site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. I would also like to emphasize how pleased we are to know that there are foreign companies that are interested in Polish culture and tradition and want to help market it.”
Marcin Nawrot Vice Director of Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Poland
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