This past Monday, the documentary “Dolores” took screen at the Metrograph in New York City.
The film tells the story of Dolores Huerta, a Latina-American who sacrificed so much of her life to fight for others. Huerta was a founder of National Farm Worker Association, an activist for the rights of latinos and other minority groups, as well as women’s rights. Her achievements have been wrongfully erased from history, many not even knowing her name. “Dolores” sets the record straight.
It seems that there is no better time to premiere this movie. Focusing on similar racial and discriminatory issues that exist today, Dolores Huerta’s cause for action is still as real today as it was in 1960s. Director Peter Bratt speaks on the irony, “We started the film four and a half years ago. We had no idea that the current administration would be in power right now, we had no idea what would be happening in Charlottesville, Virginia.”
Bratt tells us, “It’s almost like divine intervention that the film’s coming out now because everything that Dolores was fighting for back in the 60s and 70s and throughout the 80s, we thought it had changed but you come to find that it hasn’t changed all that much. We’re still fighting the same struggles.” Another slightly sardonic fact, “Dolores” premiered at Sundance Film Festival on Inauguration Day.
Dolores herself understands the importance of her work, and the impact of this documentary. Huerta believes this film will help shed more light on racial issues, and hopes it will empower the Latino community. “I think that it will affirm a lot of the work that people are doing, especially the movement,” Huerta said. “But I think it will also bring them messages of why we are important and why we have to hang on to who we are and fight for our identity, and fight for our conditions and our culture, and that we need to be respected for who we are. And especially for young people. And not only for the Latinos, but also for us as women, and whatever culture we come from, we are important, who we are. Our color is important.”
It’s clear that Huerta’s work has inspired many, including long time friend and producer of the film, Carlos Santana. “She’s so incandescent, and just I feel very grateful, very honored to be of service to her in any capacity, at any time, any place, because I feel that she is a supreme architect of creating a future on this planet where we can finally see patriotism as prehistoric”, Santana said of Huerta. Bratt, also a past friend of Huerta’s, has praise as well for his subject. “I think Dolores’ emotional fortitude, and that fact that she’s been in the struggle for several decades, what we’re seeing right now, this ain’t nothing,” he said. She’s been there and back, so I think we could learn from her example.”
In a heartwarming display, Huerta ends the night with a reminder of how much passion still lives within her. Chanting “Who has the power? We have the power! What kind of power? People power!”, Huerta to this day makes sure she is heard, loud and clear.