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DIGGING UP THE SALT MINES is a film memoir recounting the author´s experience shooting her first documentary film. In the early 1980´s when New York City swarmed with a diversity of homeless populations, two young filmmakers encountered a community of homeless Latino drag queens living in abandoned garbage trucks by the Hudson River and set out to shoot a film depicting their lifestyle of drugs, prostitution and community dynamics in a garbage dump. A fascinating filmmaking odyssey into a world both far removed from our own, Susana Aikin’s recounting is at once a documentary tutorial and absorbing transformational journey. Following the lives of Sara, Gigi, and Giovanna, three Latino trans women who worked Manhattan’s dangerous streets supporting their drug habits through prostitution, Susana and her cameraman/partner Carlos set out to capture their lifestyle as well as explore the boundaries of sexual identity and social tolerance. A profoundly moving memoir that captures the essence of the human struggle to find and form communities of shared experience, Aikin delivers a recounting of her journey with keen insight and bracing honesty. Her ability to capture not only the lives of her subjects but her own transformation is nothing short of a revelation. Gritty, poignant, and filled with a quiet reverence for life—and truth, Digging Up the Salt Mines is a captivating portrayal of a world long since abandoned but still resonant of the evolving urban experience.
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