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Salt for Svanetia (1930) by Mikhail Kalatozov, film screening by Sharna Pax film collective with live score composed and performed by Viki Steiri (cello, piano, field recordings) and Dario Papavassiliou (persian santur, goat bells), Grow Elephant, London, 21 June 2017.

Salt for Svanetia is an ethnographic treasure that documents the harsh conditions of life in the mountain village of Ushgul, Georgia. But as the focus shifts to the tribe's barbaric religious customs, Mikhail Kalatozov's film transforms itself into a work of Communist propaganda, holding up these grotesque, near-pagan ceremonies (which many Svanetians later denied the authenticity of) as an example of religion's corruptive influence.

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