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American History Essay

1248 words - 5 pages

During 1950s, there were many social and political issues that related to the immigrants. One of the memorable issues was the blacklisted film, Salt of the Earth. The director of this film was Herbert J. Biberman, and the sponsor was the labor union. The film is about the strike for a safe working condition of the Chicano mine workers in New Mexico. In the movie, the strike last about fifteen months until the mine workers finally meets their success; however, this success does not only come from the men strength, but it also come from the women. The actors and actresses had done a very good job on playing their parts even though they had to face the obstacles that almost prevent them to ...view middle of the document...

Biberman was one of the "Hollywood Ten," or in the other words, he was blacklisted because he favored the communist party. Since he and other members of the Hollywood Ten were blacklisted, no one wanted to hire them, so they had to set up their own private company in order to continue making the films. Even though the story in the film has nothing related to the communist party, but as part of the HUAC and McCarran Act, the government had to pay close attention to his activities. Second, the story is about the Chicanos that work in America, so the Mexicans seemed to suit best in those roles. The main Mexican actors in the film were Esperanza Quintero, which played by Rosaura Revueltes. She was from Mexico, and the government viewed her as one of the undesirable immigrants; thus, she was deported under the McCarran-Walter Act. Therefore, some part of the scenes had to be shot in Mexico. Besides that, this film had such woeful release; it only had a chance to play in thirteen theaters out of forty-eight states because of the undesirable messages in the film.After all the hard work of the producers and actors, the film finally got a chance to release in 1954. The messages in the film seemed to be unpleasant to the government and the people. The two main issues that discussed in the film are the strike of Chicano mine workers and the evolvement of women roles in Silver City, New Mexico. The job in mine industry is a dangerous job. However, the Chicano mine workers and their families do not have the same health benefit as the Anglo miners. Therefore, the Chicano workers decide to go on strike for equality, but after a few months, they have to end the strike. The reason is Taft-Hartley Act, the act that controls the activities and powers of the labor union. The act gives a prohibition to the mine workers to go on strike. Since the act affects only on the mine workers, but not the women, so the women want to take charge on the picket line instead of the men. As a result, the women come out with a stronger on the picket line than the men. The women even get put into jail, but they never give up. During this time, the women roles are evolve from domestic duties to be as equal as the men. The women start to speak up, and the men have to do some of the traditional household duties. The...

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