Salt of the Earth Returns to Castle Theatre 60 Years Later
A pair of Selkirk College history instructors are involved in a project that is bringing back a film that caused a huge stir in our region and across North America 60 years ago.
Salt of the Earth was a blacklisted film about a worker strike in New Mexico in 1950. The strike went on for 15 months. After eight months, the company obtained an injunction stating that picketing was illegal. In response the wives of the workers (not being workers themselves) carried on the picketing in the face of great risk to themselves and their families. Their husbands stayed home caring for the children.
The film came out during the McCarthy era and was blacklisted as it was seen as a threat. In December, 1954 Salt of the Earth was shown in the old Castle Theatre in Castlegar. More than 900 people saw it.
This Sunday at 2 p.m. the film will again be shown at the Castle Theatre. Selkirk College instructors Duff Sutherland and Takaia Larsen will be on a panel discussing the impact of the film in its original context and with regard to women’s involvement.
Historian Ron Verzuh—who grew up in Trail—is filming a short documentary on the anniversary screening. Two Selkirk College Digital Arts & New Media students will be shooting the interviews and the event.
Several local unions have sponsored the event and all of the community is invited to come out this special event.