The restoration of Margot Benacerraf's brilliant film Araya is a landmark in cinema history. The film was hailed as a masterpiece of poetic cinema and a forerunner of feminist Latina cinema on it's re-release by Milestone.
The peninsula of Araya in northeastern Venezuela, is one of the most arid places on earth. For five hundred years, since its discovery by the Spanish, the region’s salt has been exploited manually. A 17th-century fortress built to protect against pirate raids stands as a reminder of the days when salt was worth almost as much as gold and great fortunes were made. Benacerraf captures the life of the salineros and their back-breaking work in breathtaking images. The Peredas family works at night in the salt marshes, the Ortiz are fishermen and the Salaz collect salt. The three stories underline the harsh life of this region — all of which vanished with the arrival of industrial exploitation.
Araya was originally compared to Flaherty’s Man of Aran, Visconti’s La Terra Trema (1947) and Rossellini’s India (1957). Margot Benacerraf has described the film as “a cinematic narration based on script writing rather than a spontaneous action, a feature documentary, the opposite of Italian neorealism.” A film of such lasting beauty that Jean Renoir told Benacerraf after seeing the film: “Above all … don’t cut a single image!”
"Majestic...Arresting...Overwhelming beauty!"—Richard Brody, NEW YORKER MAGAZINE
Listen to Margot Benacerraf and Milestone's Dennis Doros talking about ARAYA on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show!
Also available in 35mm prints for Theatrical and Nontheatrical
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Through our distribution partner, Kino Lorber, Milestone provides a variety of licensing to suit all needs. Our standard institutional licensing packages are designed to provide colleges, universities and qualified non-profits with the best value for multiple uses, and our one-time community screening licenses allow any organization to exhibit high-quality films for a reasonable fee. Please note that all licensing carries restrictions on audience numbers and/or geographic range.
STANDARD INSTITUTIONAL LICENSING
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Milestone is the exclusive licensor for all the titles in this catalog, all of which are available from Milestone’s distribution partner Kino Lorber. in their complete versions.