Search:     THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2018
Al Santana & Denise B Santiago
52 minutes
English subtitles
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Salty Dog Blues

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.

  • Best Documentary, Workers Unite Film Festival

  • Screenings
  • World Premiere, Vancouver Film Center, 2013
  • New York Premiere, Workers Unite Film Festival, 2013
  • Bronx Music Heritage Center, 2013
  • Reel Sisters of the African Diaspora Film Festival, 2013
  • Scribe Media Center, Philadelphia, 2013
  • The Creative Alliance, Balitmore, 2014

    Pricing & Ordering Related Subjects            
    Buyer Type Format Sale Type Price
    Higher Education Institutions DVD w/Digital File Sale $300.00
    K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups DVD w/Digital File Sale $80.00
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