The film shows smugglers on islands of South Pacific, just before WWI, who are trying to adjust to new international relations. On one side there are technological revolution and beginnings of modern warfare, and on the other, in Polynesia, immersed in a legacy of cannibalism, wars are still fought differently. Although away from Europe, their battles for island territories are not left unnoticed on world political scene. Main heroes are Corto, who is rescued from doom and who continues to, reluctantly but instinctively, help the people in need and Rasputin who, contrary to Corto, allows his character to be overpowered with negative traits.
“Ballad of the Salt Sea” was based on Hugo Pratt’s first comic book by the same title, which is considered one of his best works.