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Salty Dog Blues

A film by Al Santana, Denise Belén Santiago

USA, Civil Rights/Documentary, 2013
52 min, Mini DV/DVCam, Color
Spanish, English with English subtitles

Co-producer/Director Al Santana in attendance

This film was screened as a part of the 2014 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF17)


This documentary looks at men and women of color in the U.S. Merchant Marine from 1938-1975. 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 shows how they navigated issues of racism, disparities in the workplace, gender and familial relations. The movie also reveals the physical and emotional strain of not having health benefits that were promised at the time of enlistment. It is an intimate look at the potentially devastating consequences of stagnant pension plans, the eradication of medical benefits, and how the elder mariners are organizing to fight back. At the 2013 Workers Unite Film Festival, SALTY DOG BLUES received 1st Prize in the documentary feature category.

Regional Premiere
Co-presented by Capital City Black Film Festival,

About the directors

Denise Belen SantiagoAn anthropologist and historian by training, Denise Belén Santiago is currently the director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Pace University in New York City.


Al Santana wAlfred J. Santana is a filmmaker whose primary work is social issue films. Over the past thirty years, he has directed eight independent films and photographed over thirty documentaries and videos that have aired on commercial and public television.


Producer: Denise Belén Santiago, Alfred J. Santana
Production Companies: Al Santana Productions
Screenwriter: Denise Belén Santiago
Cinematographer: Alfred J. Santana
Editor: Alfred J. Santana
Sound Design: Alfred J. Santana
Music: Mino Cinelu

Print Source: Roselly A. Torres Rojas – Third World Newsreel,



Salty Dog Blues w