DIFF 2017: Dolores
It is not uncommon for women to be written out of history. It is uncommon that it happens during their lifetime. This is exactly what happened to Dolores Huerta, a wrong that the documentary bearing her name sets out to right.
The name Caesar Chavez is known to many. He is remembered across the nation as the man who spear-headed the labor movement of the 1960’s. What people don’t know is the Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Chavez in 1962. Before I watched Peter Bratt’s documentary about Huerta, I did not even know who she was. I had learned about the farm workers labor movement in school but there was never a mention of Huerta in any of my classes.
My goal for attending the Dallas International Film Festival this year was to focus as much as I could on films featuring or created by women. Little did I know walking into the screening of Dolores that I would be learning about such an influential woman that I’d never heard of. I sat in the theater for the whole 95 minute run time captivated, intrigued and with angry slowly boiling to the surface. By the time I left I was furious that Dolores Huerta’s name wasn’t mentioned in every conversation about activism and feminism in America.
Bratt’s film is a beautiful documentary. Every minute of the film is a true treat and it fully captures the fire and spirit of it’s subject. We see the decisions Huerta had to make through out her life that affected not just her but also her 11 children, many of whom are featured in interviews throughout the film. It seems as if every second of Dolores Huerta’s life was dedicated to social justice. Her’s is a passion that we need more of in our country, a fire that we cannot afford to forget.
I rarely take notes while reviewing films, but during this film I took six pages of notes. I haven’t referenced them once while writing this post. Even though I watched the film over a week ago I still vividly remember each detail. I remember how empowered I felt watching Huerta take on seemingly unmovable growers, racist politicians and even sexist opinions in her own union.
I am writing up this post a day after marching in Dallas’ Mega March 2017. A march in support of immigration reform in a state that has a large immigrant population vital to our economy but blamed for the misfortunes of others. Marching through the streets of downtown Dallas yesterday to chants of “Sí, se puede” (the slogan of the labor movement often credited to Chavez, but, in fact, created by Huerta), I thought about Dolores Huerta and how her passion and unwavering spirit continue to pave the way for activist across our country. We owe it to Dolores to acknowledge and celebrate the work that she has done and I, for one, am thankful that Bratt’s documentary aims to do just that.
For More Info About Dolores
If you are interested in learning more about the the Dallas Film Society you can visit their website.