What has been Dolores’s relationship to feminism?
From the Interview with Hammer to Nail (part one), Christopher Llewlyn Reed September 27, 2018
See also part two
On representation of her family in the film Dolores role in the farm workers’ movement:
HtN: Yes, I agree. Any film (referring to Diego Luna’s 2014 Cesar Chavez) that sheds light on that important period of our history is worth watching, but it did have it’s not-insignificant flaws. But Rosario Dawson, just by virtue of who she is, is going to lend dignity to whatever role she plays. In any case, this new documentary bears your name, and speaking of flaws, you’re up there on the screen, flaws and all. It’s not a hagiography, particularly because of the inclusion of your family, many of whom talk about the difficulties of not having their mother around for parts of their childhood. I’m still amazed that you had 11 children! I’m in awe of that, actually. Did you have any reservations about having your family be a part of this documentary?
DH: Well, that’s what Peter decided to do. (laughs) But the one thing I do want to say is that in the farm workers’ movement, we always did have child care for the children. We had a Montessori school, and the kids were never alone; they always had somebody there with them. And, you know, I think that speaks to a lot of women who want to work, or go to school, and have to leave the children behind. And, of course, that’s one thing we need in our society, to have early childhood centers, especially when it comes to people who participate in civic life, because we need women’s voices, and we need women to be on all of these boards. If you have a bunch of guys there, sitting on boards, making decisions, without women, then they’re going to make the wrong decisions. One of the things we have to fight for is to get early childhood education, so that mothers – and fathers – can get engaged in public life.
HtN: And I think this film makes that case, for sure. It is a double standard, obviously, because men don’t generally think that they have to deal with the problem of children in the same way. Peter, could you describe some of the challenges unique to making this particular film? Did you have any difficulties obtaining archival footage? Were there any people whom you wanted to interview who did not want to be a part of the film?
PB: Yes. Without mentioning names, there were a few people that I reached out to who were not interested in participating. But by and large, most people – including those maintaining the archives – were more than willing to be a part of it. I would say that one of the bigger challenges was with Dolores, herself. What I find with activists, in general, is that their focus is always on the issues on the outside, and they always want to train the lens on what is happening around them. And so I think it was very difficult for her to have the narrative be solely about her.
So, I think that was a difficult process for her, which sometimes made it a difficult process for me. But there was a trust, early on, between her and me, and Carlos, and it’s also a very empowering thing to be able to tell your story, with your children. And they are all alright now; they’re currently all working for social justice in their different careers. And that they learned from their mother, so I thought it was really important to include their stories. And in that process, I think there was some letting go, for them, of some of the past resentment and pain that they may have been carrying. A few shared with me that just telling the story was…
PB: Cathartic. Yeah.