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Dolores

Dolores Huerta joined Cesar Chavez to found the first farm worker’s union in California. For 40 years, both fought for the rights of farm laborers across the nation. The movie is the story of Dolores who most of us probably have never heard of (Bill O’Reilly in one scene says rather flippantly that he had never even heard of her) but was clearly one of the most important figures in the farm labor/woman’s rights/civil rights movements. I loved this film. I learned a lot about a person I had never heard of. It was interesting to see how much she was responsible for organizing the farm workers and how she managed (or did not manage as well as she or her children would have liked) to do this work with such commitment while raising 11 children. The film includes interviews with several people who knew her during her years as an organizer of farm workers and with several of her children who reflect on Dolores as a mom and as a person passionate about her work. Huge thumbs up from me for a film that shows us exactly what a woman who is100% dedicated to social change and justice looks like. It also is yet another opportunity to present the story of a woman forgotten in (and, as we see, erased in some cases from) the history books. Finally, the film shows yet another example of how those who are in power control history and what is taught in history books. While I would have liked to have learned a bit more about her challenges of balancing motherhood with social activism, the movie still shines and should be considered essential viewing.

About Gary Burkholder

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