Rated 100% on the Tomatometer
Salt of the Earth is an American Neorealist classic.
Based on actual events, this landmark film depicts a strike by Mexican-American mineworkers in New Mexico. With the exception of five actors, the cast comprises non-professionals, mostly participants in the real-life strike. The film is remarkably prophetic in its portrayal of the wives of the oppressed workers which seem to anticipate the women's liberation movement that would rise over a decade later. Against a backdrop of social injustice, a riveting family drama is played out by the characters of Ramon and Esperanza Quintero, a Mexican-American miner and his wife. In the course of the strike, Ramon and Esperanza find their roles reversed: an injunction against the male strikers moves the women to take over the picket line, leaving the men to domestic duties. The women evolve from the men's subordinates into their allies and equals.
The film's very existence is the result of political struggle. In the history of Hollywood there are few films with a story behind its making as dramatically riveting as that of Salt of the Earth. Made during the height of the McCarthy era by a group of blacklisted filmmakers who were among the best and the brightest Hollywood talent of the day, Salt of the Earth is itself a powerful and emotionally charged feature-length film. For the first time, this disc tells the true story of this troubled production, while also allowing the user to meet the filmmakers, understand the historical background and view the film, all on the same disc. During production, the blacklisted cast and crew were subject to attacks by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and other anti-Communist organizations. These attacks were misguided, however, as Salt of the Earth is now considered one of the most important American films in history.
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