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Dolores (2018)Dolores (2018)

This documentary film from the "Independent Lens" series of PBS tells the inspirational story of the Chicana activist and community organizer Dolores Huerta (born 1930). Huerta grew up in the 1940s central valley of California, and knew first hand the experiences of racism, poverty, police brutality, child hunger, and worker exploitation. Although she's rarely mentioned in the history books, this film gives Huerta her due as the indefatigable workaholic for and co-founder of (with Cesar Chavez) what eventually became the United Farm Workers union. She picketed, planned, drafted legislation, negotiated, lobbied, and most famously organized the national grape boycott in 1965. In 1968 she stood on the podium beside Robert Kennedy as he gave his victory speech (and was assassinated the next day). The film doesn't shy away from one aspect of Huerta that made her an easy target for some — her eleven children by two marriages and then a partner.  Everyone agrees she was an absentee mother, but Huerta was unapologetic about the cause she served and the social justice values that she bequeathed to her children (many of whom are interviewed in the film). The film also shows how similar leaders in other social justice movements connected the dots of feminism, the environment (cf. pesticides like DDT), LGBTs, and various children's causes. I watched this film on the PBS website.

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