salt_of_the_earth_stillAs part of Mayworks celebration of arts and labour, World Community screens the dramatic 1954 film“Salt of the Earth” May 20, 7pm at NIC theatre Courtenay.

Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity. The film explores complex issues of labour relations, minority rights and the struggle of women to achieve equality in their daily lives. When the company got an injunction preventing the workers from picketing, the wives of the miners play a pivotal role in the strike. “It’s amazing that this film was made in the 1950s” says programmer Janet Fairbanks. “The role reversal when men take over some of the household chores as the women head to the picket line is quite stunning for this era.” The writers, director and producer of the film were all blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment during the McCarthy era. In neorealist style, the producers and director used actual miners and their families as most of the actors in the film. Will Geer was one of only four professional actors in the film. “Salt of the Earth” was selected by the Library of Congress as one of 100 films to be preserved for posterity.

Please join us for a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the making of this classic film. Admission is by donation. Everyone is welcome. FMI : 337-5412