Independent Lens: DOLORES

Carlos Santana Production, in association with 5 Stick Films.

Peter Bratt’s exhilarating portrait of activist and community organizer Dolores Huerta serves as a timely reminder of the power of collective action in service of social justice. Huerta is perhaps best known for her work with Cesar Chavez in leading the unionizing efforts of farm workers in California in the 1960s, but her impact on American life stretches far beyond that. Independent Lens: Dolores serves as a corrective to a half-century of history that had until now relegated her impact to the margins. Huerta has been a constant and vocal advocate for the rights of women, immigrants, and people living in poverty. And her lobbying work has resulted in programs and legislation in support of all these groups. More than that, she has served as a role model for women speaking out. Gloria Steinem credits Huerta for making it acceptable for women to join picket lines and make their voices heard. But Dolores is no hagiography. As Bratt shows, Huerta’s commitment to social justice came with a hefty price tag. Her 11 children had to endure long absences due to her work—but nonetheless many became activists themselves. She suffered threats of violence and was viciously beaten by the San Francisco police during a peaceful demonstration. Her deceptively simple exhortation—”¡SÍ se puede!”—contains the yearning for change and has become the mantra for generations of activists. For calling us all to action, to pay attention and to be engaged citizens who make a difference, Dolores earns a Peabody Award.


Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen, Carlos Santana, Regina K. Scully, Janet McGillivray Wallace, Tom Steyer, Kat Taylor. Producers: Brian Benson, Peter Bratt. Co-Producer: Alpita Patel. Associate Producers: Lora O’Connor, Angelica Santana. Consulting Producer: Benjamin Bratt. Director: Peter Bratt. Writers: Peter Bratt, Jessica Congdon. Editor: Jessica Congdon. Director of Photography: Jesse Dana. Sound/Music: Mark Kilian, Bob Edwards, Brooke Wentz.