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589 Ratings

Salt of the Earth

Directed by Herbert J. Biberman
United States, 1954
Drama, History
  • English
  • English


Based on a real strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film follows Mexican-American workers, who strike for wage parity with Anglo workers and be treated with dignity. When an injunction is issued, the wives take up the battle with a fury, leaving husbands and children at home.

Our take

Depicting the prejudices faced by Mexican-Americans with a feminist and pro-labor position, this powerful and persuasive, yet long-suppressed and blacklisted film was promptly decried as communist propaganda. A rare and radical classic of American independent and social-realist cinema.

Salt of the Earth Directed by Herbert J. Biberman
That’s what makes Salt of the Earth the most radical film of the [Lincoln Center’s Blacklist series]: it’s not just a denunciation of sexism, racism and corporatism, but a sensitive, rousing illustration of the process of overcoming them.
August 19, 2014
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A landmark act of civil disobedience and the rare film that’s entitled to masterpiece status without having to be any good. Thankfully, its artfulness is commensurate with its conviction.
September 03, 2010
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The results are leftist propaganda of a very high order, powerful and intelligent even when the film registers in spots as naive or dated. Basically kept out of American theaters until 1965, it was widely shown and honored in Europe, but it’s never received the recognition it deserves stateside. If you’ve never seen it, prepare to have your mind blown.
February 01, 1992
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