SALTY DOG BLUES
Merchant Marines of Color Fighting for their Rightful Share
TWN Announces the Educational Release of Al Santana & Denise BelÚn
Santiago's Award Winning Documentary Film SALTY DOG BLUES
Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Workers Unite Film Festival
SALTY DOG BLUES features a group of men and women of color who served in
the United States Merchant Marine from 1937 - 1989. This nine-year project
examines their development as a multi-racial and international labor force,
their contributions to the World War II efforts, their relationship to the
National Maritime Union and the Seafarers International Union, and a
dispute over lost health benefits.
Through chronicling the lives of these men and women with a median age of
82 and who are beset with a host of life-threatening illnesses, the film
focuses on how they navigated issues of racism, disparities in the
workplace, gender and familial relations. It also shows how the U.S.
Merchant Marine provided a viable source of income and upward mobility for
thousands of men and women of color from the U.S. Mainland, Puerto Rico,
and other parts of the world.
The film explores the painful reality of increasing medical bills and
stagnant pension plans that thousands of men and women are confronting.
Now, in their 70's, 80's and 90's they live on an average of only $250 per
month. The retirees are squarely in a battle for survival and have decided
to assume an active role in recouping their rightful share.
SALTY DOG BLUES, narrated by Felipe Luciano and told through on-camera
testimonies, archival photos and stock footage, is a unique look at a piece
of maritime history not previously documented. It is a microcosmic view of
transnational bonds established over sixty years ago between men and women
of color, their organizing efforts to receive justice, the potentially
devastating consequences of stagnant pension plans, and the lost of medical
benefits that were promised at the time of enlistment.
Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Workers Unite Film Festival in
New York, SALTY DOG BLUES is available for public screenings and
educational purchase. For an interview with the filmmakers, please contact
Third World Newsreel. Visit twn.org for more information.
Al Santana & Denise BelÚn Santiago | 2012 | 52 min
Email: [log in to unmask]
Tel: (212) 947-9277
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