The 1960s in the United States was a decade so chock-full of powerful names leading the Civil Rights Movement that you could be forgiven for missing a few. Except when the one you missed has been variably described by her admirers and detractors as an unorthodox icon, a volatile individual, and an indefatigable one-woman force. Dolores Huerta may just be the most vocal activist you’ve never heard of. While she’s one of the most important social justice advocates of the 20th century, her name has largely been overshadowed in the history books by the men who stood by her side. Along with Cesar Chavez, Huerta was responsible for organizing minority farm workers all across California and founding the United Farm Workers Union, an organization that made labour history.
Raised in a small town in California, Huerta felt her calling towards social justice early in life, and made enormous sacrifices in order to pursue it. An icon of the Chicano movement, she began her career lobbying for the rights of Latinos in the state senate at the tender age of 25. Huerta was a feminist trailblazer, making room for women — and especially women of colour — to participate actively in social justice organizing.
Replete with archival footage from some of the UFW’s first strikes and marches, this film features interviews with many notable faces, including Senator Robert Kennedy. Dolores paints a vibrant portrait of a woman of immense dedication, determination and strength, tirelessly driven by her conviction that poor, immigrant, racialized communities deserve the same basic respect as anyone else. Peter Bratt’s film portrait is a long-awaited and well deserved tribute to Huerta’s monumental achievements. -PP