About Song for Cesar from Song For Cesar on Vimeo.


Arturo Rodriguez, Abel Sanchez, Alberto Govea, Little Joe


Beware of a Movement That Sings

On Saturday, September 10th, my wife and I attended the Fort Worth screening of the new Documentary “A song for Cesar” at the Rose Marine Theatre. We both had seen the commercially released movie based on the life of Cesar that came out in 2014. That movie had Michael Pena starring as Cesar and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta. And while we enjoyed that, I was a little apprehensive about what this new film might give us that we had not already learned in the previously referenced movie.


Well, it did not take long for my fears to fade. This documentary is rooted in the music of, perhaps, one of our country’s most significant labor movements. Abel Sanchez and Jorge Santana wrote ‘A Song for Cesar’ to tribute to Cesar, the UFW, and their families. They then created a short video with the images and interviews of artists responsible for providing the soundtrack for the movement.

Among the artists in the film were Santana, Joan Baez, Cheech and Chong, Little Joe, and Kris Kristofferson, and I was surprised to see Crosby Stills and Nash, among many others. They all volunteered to play at festivals to raise money to keep the Union afloat in the early years. The film also provides information about Cesar and the Union’s support to those working here under the Bracero program. Many growers attempted to take advantage of their limited work status and would often treat them like personal property. This fact totally disputes the rumor usually spread by some that Cesar was somehow Anti-Mexican

Personality, as much as I liked the named performers, the teenagers that sang De Colores touched me most that evening. I want to thank Rose Herrera, her committee, and sponsors for enriching our lives with this inspiring film. I also would be remiss not to mention the late great poet laureate Maya Angelou for convincing Abel Sanchez to create this documentary and share it with all of us. Abel, along with Andres Alegria, headed her call and embarked on what would be a 15-year process that they called a labor of love. Finally, special thanks to the panel after the film for Q&A, which included Paul Chavez (Cesar’s son), Arturo Rodriguez, Abel Sanchez, and Jose Maria Hernandez, ‘ Little Joe’ (Pictured Below). They were all great. I highly encourage you to view this documentary if you have an opportunity.

(On another note, I am excited to announce that on October 22nd, we will be premiering the Gus Garcia Documentary at the Rose Marine Theater. Look for the announcement with full details starting next week on El Weekender and Hola Texas.)

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