A documentary film by Peter Bratt
Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions by starting the country's first farm worker's union with fellow organizer Cesar Chavez. What starts out as a struggle for racial and labor justice, soon becomes a fight for gender equality within the same union she is eventually forced to leave. As she wrestles with raising 11 children, three marriages, and is nearly beaten to death by a San Francisco tactical police squad, Dolores emerges with a vision that connects her new found feminism with racial and class justice.
In the copious volumes written about Cesar Chavez and how he formed the first farm workers' union in America, there's little mention of Dolores Huerta, although she was his equal partner and co-founder of the union.
In the first film of its kind, DOLORES sheds light on this enigmatic, intensely private woman who is among the most important activists in American history. With unprecedented access to both Dolores and her children, the film reveals the raw, personal stories behind the public figure. It portrays a woman both heroic and flawed, working tirelessly for social change even as her eleven children longed to have her at home.
The film follows Dolores Huerta's fascinating life, from the fearless young woman confronting teamsters on violent picket lines to the activist grandmother nearly beaten to death by a San Francisco police squad. Overshadowed by the legacy of Cesar Chavez and forced from the ranks of the all-male union leadership after his death, Dolores learns the painful truth -- that her gender is the greatest obstacle of all. But she turns her defeat into inspiration, setting the course for a lifetime pursuit of equality for all.
While tracing her trajectory through the most radical social and cultural movements of the past 50 years, from brown power and feminism to LGBTQ rights and environmental justice, Dolores provides an unflinching look at the barriers faced by women and people of color within the very communities they're fighting for. Featuring interviews with Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton and Luis Valdez the film reveals her ever-expanding wave of influence through decades of activism, and leading many to ask why her contributions have been erased from American history.
About the Director
Peter Bratt is an award-winning screenwriter and independent filmmaker whose first feature Follow Me Home premiered in competition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Feature Film Audience Award that same year at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2009, he and his brother Benjamin produced La Mission, a feature film shot on location in their hometown of San Francisco. The film, which Peter wrote and directed, premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was the opening night film at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival, the 2009 New York International Latino Film Festival, and the 2009 Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles. For his work on La Mission, Peter received the prestigious Norman Lear Writer’s Award and was one of ten American independent filmmakers selected by Sundance and the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities to launch Sundance Film Forward, a program that uses film and conversation to excite and introduce a new generation to the power of story. Peter is a San Francisco Film Commissioner and a long-time consultant for the Friendship House Association of American Indians, a local non-profit serving the Bay Area’s Native population.
USA, 2017, Documentary, 95 min
Showtime for "Dolores"
at The MATCH (View map)
All Access Badge
- Watch the Houston premiere of "Dolores" and all the films during the festival.