The Salt Mines

1990 | Documentary / Gender / Immigration/Exile / Latino/a / Race and Culture / Sexuality / Transgender | 47m | USA
Directors: Carlos Aparicio, Susana Aikin

The Salt Mines explores the lives of Sara, Gigi and Giovanna, three Latina transwomen who for years have lived on the streets of Manhattan supporting their drug addictions through sex work. They made their temporary home inside broken garbage trucks that the sanitation department keeps next to the salt deposits used in the winter to melt the snow. The three friends share the place known as The Salt Mines with a varied community of homeless people. They talk about their sexual identity, their past, and their dreams. We follow their daily lives day and night until the place is closed and sealed by the city, forcing everyone to disperse, in this groundbreaking 1990 documentary, one of the first to delve into the lives of trans women and sex workers.

To learn more about this film, a memoir on the "making of" the documentary by director Susana Aikin is available here.