“Salt of Earth” (1951)
The film, Salt of the Earth, touches on numerous problems that our nation faces now. From race relation to social justice issues. The film surrounds real-life experiences in 1951, which occurred at the Empire Zinc Company mines in Grant County, New Mexico. There, an accumulation of Mexican laborers became fed up with the disparity of approach that they received from their managers at Delaware Zinc Inc.The film focuses on social injustices issues of the fifties toward minorities. This was done through the depiction of Mexican-Americans who wanted proper working conditions equivalent to those of White, or “Anglo” laborers.
The tale of the film itself is unprecedented as it was created by one of the “Hollywood Ten” ostracized directors. In Depth, the message of the movie carries substantial pro-Socialist, pro-Feminist, and anti-racist ideologies. In this view, ideology within itself tries to explain the demystification of elite (the Anglos) class. After seeing this film, one would come to see that “ideology” traverse the various ways how cultural practices are sense.In this movie, there’s a form of power structure. One being the Mexican-American miners and the others being from the state. This is depicted, when the Mexican miners decided to go on strike and how that strike was dealt with by the state and company they labored for. The obstacles that lead up to the strike surround the same modern day problems that we are uniformly facing: racism and division.
The women being depicted in this film were not allowed to get involved with any decisions making. One can see that some men back then were “overly protective” and sexism was an authoritative language, which was positioned in line with the sentiment that there were “no place for women.” As harsh as it seems, we are constantly facing this same ideology that continues to put American women beneath men. The ideas now that are pushed forth by some that American-women are not entitled to their bodies. Or are not as just as good as men. The film uses neo-realism as a means to deliver a realistic portrayal of the existing atmosphere of the 50’s. The film, Salt of the Earth did not just speak the language of its time but open up a “discourse” on social injustices of our time. As Michel Foucault once said, “it’s in discourse that power and knowledge are joined together.”
The madness here within in its depiction of “race” has a historical prominence, embedded into an American tale as alterity. While in depth, there’s no alterity and the only solution to all of America’s problems is center on the notion of discourse.After viewing this movie, I have come to a rational conclusion for the concrete progression of America’s fate; that there would be no progress on (race or race relations) biological fiction unless there’s a common sense of discourse. In Salt of the Earth, one can see that race has a reality, and this reality is not going away unless we address it. Race in every aspect of American lives has become a great a signifier of prominent importance. There’s no doubt that “Salt of the Earth” is a revolutionary film that speaks to the past generation and to the existing problems we face now.