I sometimes get criticized for being too trans focused and other times I get criticized for being all over the place. As in “What do your left wing politics have to do with anything?” Or fill in the blank..
Last night we watched Salt of the Earth, a 1953 film that was made by people Blacklisted from working in the movies because they were lefties and Joe McCarthy was running a campaign of right wing lies and smears. Generally he was the same sort of conservative asshole as we have today in the Republican’t Party.
Salt of the Earth was censored into oblivion only to surface on the college classic films circuit of the 1960s.
The making of it is a story in itself and makes the US look as un-free as other nations we condemned for their lack of freedom.
It is the story of a strike by union mineworkers in early 1950s New Mexico.
The workers were Latino, some spoke only Spanish. The union organizer was Anglo as were the sheriffs and the owner.
When the mine owner got a Taft Hartly Act injunction forbidding the workers from picketing the entrance to the mine to prevent scabs from coming in to break the strike the women took over the picketing.
Nearly 15 years before the start of second wave feminism this film presented a very strong feminist message even quoting Lenin’s “On the Emancipation of Women”. It seemed right because the core truth to the McCarthyite charges of communist involvement in the labor movement and among immigrant laborers was that the right wingers oppressed and the reds fought the oppressors.
It was like hearing a woman in Libertarias (Juegos De Guerra) quote the anarchist, Bakunin. It just felt right.
Salt of the Earth is just one of those classic films available now on DVD that reminds me of my days living in Hollywood when movies were a part of my life.