Fundir (to melt) is a biography of a material, a record of extraction, migration, and physical transformation, initiated by a vast and intricate choreography of human labor and global trade. Fundir follows the processing and importation of Boston’s road salt from one of its main sources in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

Though salt has a cycle outside of human time, Fundir begins its story in the anthropocene, documenting a small window into salt history millions of years after the salt formed from a prehistoric salt lake. In the film, salt serves a human use through miraculously melting ice into water, providing safety for winter road travelers in Boston as well as a livelihood for the hundreds of laborers that mine, truck, ship, and eventually spread the 99.5% pure rock salt over the roads of Boston. It is there that it slips back out of human hands, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.

"It’s a visual narrative, with no script. None is needed. The images startle; they are often stunning and dramatic, while they tell the mundane story of a material we take for granted." -The Boston Globe

 

Stills from Fundir