Film 309 in the ‘1001 films to see before you die’ challenge is 1954’s “Salt of the Earth”. Based on the strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico, this film was written by Michael Wilson and directed by Herbert J. Biberman who have been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their alleged involvement in communist politics. This historical drama is about Mexican-American miners striking against their bosses and their wives striking against their husbands. From what I gathered, the key message this film wanted to send to the audience was that everyone should have the rights as others no matter of sex or race. However, what this film ended up doing was splitting the audience into separate sections. Do we support the men for wanting better working conditions? Or do we support their wives for wanting…. Well that’s the thing. I wasn’t quite sure what they wanted. It came across as if they wanted ‘Women’s Rights’ but this portrays all the women as housewives who cook, clean and look after their kids. Unless you’re Espiransa (I think that’s her name) who prayed to a picture of Jesus that you don’t want the kids you have anymore. Bit harsh! How are we meant to like her? If you include the bit about what she said about her kids, she’s miserable and does nothing in the film that makes me (the audience) want to like her. I managed 25 minutes before I started striking against the film. See what I there? The film has strikes and I’m strik…. I know. I know. It was a bad pun. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I managed to say while watching 1954’s “Salt of the Earth”
Film – Salt of the Earth
Year – 1954
Director – Herbert J. Biberman
Written by – Michael Wilson
Staring – Juan Chacon, Rosaura Revueltas, Will Geer
IMDb Rating – 7.5/10
My Rating – I’M STRIKING AGAINST THIS FILM
Length – 91 min (1h 31min)
Genre – Drama, History
A blacklisted film? Ok then
Welcome to Zinc Town, New Mexico
“My story has no beginning” – Pretty sure all stories have beginnings
We find Espiransa hanging the washing while her husband works in a mine
So… my laptop auto-corrects Espiransa to ‘aspirins’
I would do the ironing but I have prayer wishing I never had kids – That’s legit what she said
Pretty sure they make all miners have to work in groups – No wonder they wanna strike
We don’t own this house but we do own the flowers in the garden and the overly priced radio
Did he just make a ‘you women stay in the kitchen’ remark?
Nothing like arguing in front of the kids so much they think you’re getting a divorce
So… All she cares about is her radio than her kids?!?
Espiransa’s husband looks like Gilbert Gottfried
It’s what? Wife & State day?
Who organises an entire village to sing to one person in the middle of the night?
Now to celebrate… something…. Look a crate of beer!!!
Ah! It’s the little girl’s birthday! But why are they celebrating at midnight? Why not wait until morning or when Ramon comes home from work?
So… The miner’s wives are striking for women’s rights
And… The miner’s are striking against their bosses over work conditions
I’m assuming something bad has happened… or is about to happen
How loud is that siren?
Turns out Mr Polinski has been badly hurt in the mines
Look I know someone’s been badly hurt but you all have to continue their work
And now the miner’s start striking following Mr Polinski’s injuries
And now their wives are striking too – Who am I meant to support?
How can you strike between hour 93 to 5? – I think she meant 9 to 5 but for some reason said 93
So… The miner’s wives want to work in the mines with their husbands?
And now everyone’s striking
AND SO AM I!!! I’M STRIKING AGAINST THIS FILM!!!