After a raucous reception at the Sundance Film Festival, Dolores is headed to theaters across the U.S. Since audiences in Park City already got a much needed history lesson on the fierce lifelong activism of one Dolores Huerta, now it’s time for the rest of us. Executive produced by Carlos Santana and Benjamin Bratt, and directed by Bratt’s brother, Peter, the critically acclaimed documentary is a portrait of an icon of the farm laborers’ fight in the 20th century. Every time you hear the name César Chávez, arguably the most recognized figure of that movement, you should be thinking of Dolores right alongside him.
The documentary is a much-needed attempt at giving Huerta her due. The famous fiery cry of “Sí se puede!” which many (including Barack Obama during his presidential campaign) attributed to Chávez, was actually the brainchild of the New Mexico native. As fellow feminist and activist Angela Davis puts it in the newly released clip of the film below, Huerta’s line continues to be misattributed. Thankfully, though, Obama apologized for his earlier mistake (and for borrowing her line: “Yes we can”) when he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
A rebel, a feminist, and a mother, Huerta remains one of the least-known activists of recent American history. An issue which Dolores is keen on fixing. The doc tells the story of how she came to found the National Farm Workers Association (later named the United Farm Workers) alongside Chávez. But it also shows the personal sacrifices she made to fight for those disenfranchised and discriminated against. Bratt mixes teary confessionals by the children Huerta all but abandoned for her work, who now stand proudly beside her, with archival footage of her gift for public speaking and her effective use of righteous anger on behalf of farmers, immigrants, and particularly women from both those groups.
Featuring interviews with Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Gloria Steinem among others, as well as candid moments with Huerta at her home as she reflects back on her life’s achievements, Dolores is a call to action. At 87, she’s the kind of wonder woman we should all admire and hope to emulate. In case you need to be even more pumped about it, check out the kickass and salsa-scored trailer below.
Dolores opens in New York City September 1, 2017 with Los Angeles, San Francisco and other cities to follow.
Read more about the Sundance premiere of Dolores below: