Previously at the ICA - Films

Hector J. Biberman, Salt of the Earth, 1954

Salt of the Earth + Discussion

12 Mar 2014

'An extraordinary film, made under extraordinary conditions and based on real events' Film Four

A rare 16mm screening of the remarkable blacklisted American drama Salt of the Earth, 60 years to the week since it was first released in New York City.

Sukhdev Sandhu: 'Salt of the Earth: Made of labour, by labour, for labour', read the Guardian article online →

This unique film was written by Michael Wilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico, all of whom had been blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment due to their alleged Communist sympathies. Produced in collaboration with the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, it tracks the progress of a long, hard strike (based on the 1951 strike against the Empire Zinc Company in Grant County, New Mexico) in a strikingly Neo-Realist style.

Employing actual miners and their families as actors in the film, Biberman and his crew faced unprecedented pressures on all fronts in production of this deeply humane and socially radical work, pioneering in its understanding of the role played by women both in the struggle, and for their own greater emancipation. Acutely relevant more than half a century later, it is a rousing call for ongoing non-violent resistance and solidarity in the face of capital and corporate power.

The screening is followed by a discussion with Sophie Mayer, writer, activist and critical biographer of Sally Potter, hosted by Gareth Evans, Film Curator Whitechapel Gallery.

Salt of the Earth, dir Hector J. Biberman, US 1954, 90 mins, cert PG

Please note that all films are 18+ unless otherwise stated. The feature will start approximately 15 minutes after the listed start time.


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