The desert extends endlessly – flat, grey, relentless. There is not a tree or blade of grass or rock. But there is one thing in abundance: salt. Salt is everywhere, lying just beneath the cracked, baked surface of the earth. This is the Little Rann of Kutch, 5000 sq kms of saline desert in India. And for eight months of the year, Chhanabhai and his family live here without water, electricity or provisions – tirelessly extracting salt from this desolate landscape. Under the blinding glare of the sun, they work on the salt fields until large crystals have formed. Their labour is rhythmic, a dance that mirrors the dance of the mirages on the burning horizon. After months of hard work, the salt is ready to be harvested – just before the heavy monsoon rains will come to once again wash their salt fields away.
Farida Pacha was born on June 6, 1972 in Bombay. After obtaining a MFA in filmmaking at Southern Illinois University, USA she has made several experimental, educational and documentary films. Her documentary “The Seed Keepers” won the 2006 Indian National Film Award.
“My Name is Salt” is her first feature length documentary as a director and producer. It has won her the First Appearance Award at IDFA 2013, Amsterdam as well as the main prizes at Hong Kong, Madrid, Edinburgh and the German Camera Award 2014 for Best Cinematography in a documentary film. Farida lives in Zurich, Switzerland.