Rosaura Revultas and the Salt of the Earth

Born in 1910 and sister to Silvestre Revueltas, Rosaura Revueltas was a Mexican actress that starred in many a Mexican film. The film that she is most well-known for and highly controversial is called “salt of the earth”, this was also the film that led to a very significant change to Rosaura’s life. Being from the Revueltas family, Rosaura understood what civil rights were and how they needed to be protected and fought for. One main theme that is shown throughout the movie is women’s empowerment, the main female character, Esperanza who is wife to a Mexican American Miner in the United States, grows throughout the movie to show that she is much more than just a house wife. She shows her husband that she can be strong and work and help support her husband and way of living. Throughout the movie it is seen that Esperanza consistently goes against the word of her husband, who is concerned for their unborn child.image-w1280

This pro-woman, pro-labor film showed to be a very controversial peace in the eyes of the United States. It became the last significant work in Rosaura’s career. During this time of the Communist scare it was also labeled a pro-communist film period leading to many real-life arrests and hardships during filming. During this time in the 1950s some women were taught to stay at home and maintain the household while the men go off to war, even though we saw the opposite reaction of this during WWII with the feminist icon Rosie the Riveter in the United States. This was a grand step in the Civil Rights Movement for women in Mexico. It’s funny for me to see that even though we can see parallels between this film and the women’s Workforce movement during World War II, this movie and its ideas were seen as communist ideals. When in actuality it was just fighting for equal rights among Mexican American workers and their “Anglo” counterparts. Maybe seeing someone take a stand for what they believe in isn’t always a bad thing, even if it may not agree with your own morals.


-John Guevara



Biberman, Herbert J. Salt of the Earth: The Story of a Film. Harbor Electronic Publishing, New York (2nd edition, 2004): 1965.
Campbell. Women at war with America : private lives in a patriotic era. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1984.
Riambau, Esteve, Casimiro Torreiro, and Rosaura Revueltas. “This Film Is Going to Make History: An Interview with Rosaura Revueltas.” Cinéaste 19, no. 2/3 (1992): 50-51.
Sacks, Karen. American Anthropologist, New Series, 79, no. 1 (1977): 205-06.

One thought on “Rosaura Revultas and the Salt of the Earth

  1. lauraaguirre27 says:

    Hello John, That was a great contrasting point about the women’s work force during WWII and how the women are portrayed in the film “The Salt of the Earth.” Two very different ideas on what women were doing during this time period. If there was more time, you could have included some more examples of exactly what American women were doing vs. the Mexican women. I like that you included Rosie the Riveter reference.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s