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Home » » Film Screening at Bushel: “Salt of the Earth"

Film Screening at Bushel: “Salt of the Earth"

Written By Editor on 5/16/22 | 5/16/22

DELHI, NY—Bushel is pleased to screen Salt of the Earth (1954), the third in the Mid-Century Movie Nights six-part series taking place on Friday nights between May 6th and June 10th at Bushel, 106 Main Street, Delhi. This program will take place on Friday, May 20, and is free to attend with a suggested donation of $5. Doors open at 7 pm. Screening begins at 7:20 pm. Seating is limited to 30; attendance is mask optional.

This drama film focuses on Esperanza Quintero, a thirty-five-year-old zinc miner’s wife, during a long and difficult strike led by her husband Ramon. The majority of the miners are Mexican-Americans who want decent working conditions equal to those of white or “Anglo” miners. After Ramon is released from jail after being brought in on bogus assault charges, Esperanza tells him that he’s no good to her in jail and ingeniously organizes the miners’ wives to picket in their husbands’ place. Directed by Herbert J. Biberman in the neorealist style, Salt of the Earth features actual miners and their families as actors, and is one of the first pictures to advance a feminist social and political point of view. Biberman, screenwriter Michael Wilson, and producer Paul Jarrico were all blacklisted by Hollywood due to their alleged involvement in communist politics. This film heralds their return to filmmaking after McCarthy’s reign of terror.

Co-curated by Hobart poet Cheryl Clarke and Bushel collective member Mina Takahashi, the Mid-Century Movie Nights film series offers present-day viewers the opportunity to ponder the weight of the post-World War II era on its generation. From Rome to Tokyo, to the US Southwest, then to France, over to the Indian subcontinent, and back to gritty Manhattan, the films ask us to consider their subjects’ alienation, perseverance, and survival. As we witness the 1950s fascist regimes, exploitative working conditions, the loneliness of ageing, the indignities of poverty, the complexity of racial ambiguity, and the subtle and not-so-subtle ways racism and sexism play out, we ask ourselves today, what has stubbornly endured, and what has changed for the better?

Upcoming films in the series: La Pointe Courte (May 27); Pather Panchali (June 3); and Shadows (June 10). Full descriptions of the films are on Bushel’s website ( and in a pamphlet available for pick up at Bushel, 106 Main Street.

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