By Triandous Hobson
It is easy for many to have an opinion on Dolores Huerta. However, if you know who she is, you are not alone. There are a few who have expressed their thoughts about her. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and even Robert Kennedy have given her praise. Whereas Bill O’Reilly, Richard Nixon, and countless others have criticized her actions and ideas. Nonetheless, “Dolores,” a documentary, was created, and it takes you on a journey through her life and glimpses over 50-years of American history.
Prior to seeing the movie, I had no idea who Huerta was. What piqued my interest was her interaction with Cesar Chavez. It turns out that Huerta took to community organizing before even meeting him, and together, they founded what would be the United Farm Workers. This fact alone makes the movie worth watching, as it is something that is rarely mentioned in schools today.
This film places her in the spotlight, giving us insight into not only what she was doing at the time, but details of what type of person she was as well. This crash course is exhilarating. The more the film progresses, the more likeable Huerta becomes.
Throughout the film, we see Huerta committed since the 1960’s to campaigning for civil rights, protesting dangerous labor conditions, and putting herself in potential danger. For years, she led efforts to unionize, lobbied politicians, and helped lead the Delano Grape Strike and Boycott.
This is impactful stuff. Huerta is part of a movement that sparked changed, yet prior to the movie, I had never heard a thing about this lady. Chavez is recognized for his contributions often, but Huerta is rarely discussed. This film is an attempt to try and rectify it.
While watching this film you will constantly ask yourself questions. Why Is Huerta not in textbooks? Why is Huerta denied her due? How is it possible to not have heard of person who moved to Delano and sacrificed everything, including spending time with her eleven children, to help make a social change in our society?
We know of Martin Luther King Junior, Angela Davis, and Malcom X all played a part in the Civil Rights Movement. We know of Chavez, and the work he has done. We even know about the American Feminist Movement that featured Gloria Steinem. Sadly, I never learned of the pivotal Huerta and all she has done for America and its people.
What is amazing to see is Peter Bratt, director of the documentary, use of a seemingly endless supply of historical footage and interviews with such clarity, painting a clear picture of a forgotten, but still important, woman of our time. Equally impressive is how he uses photos to show us that she was around other revolutionaries of the time, proving that she was one herself.
While there might be other movies that people want to see, I believe this is a movie that people need to see. It’s a documentary that talks about America’s past as well as its future. It’s relatable to the present social injustices going on across our country. Huerta is an amazing woman, and this documentary does an excellent job showcasing the extraordinary life of an important woman in our nation’s history.