Cast & Crew
Arizona-born Chavez and his family joined the stream of migrant workers headed for California in 1939. There, Chavez received an early education in the harsh conditions suffered by farmworkers as he worked the fields with his mother and sister after his father was injured in a car accident. Like other migrant workers eager for work, the Chavez family suffered at the hands of unscrupulous growers and labor contractors. In 1952, Chavez met Fred Ross, a community organizer working in California's Mexican-American communities. Inspired by Ross, Chavez recognized the connections between the civic weakness of Mexican Americans and the social neglect of the barrio. He believed this social neglect and discrimination could be overcome by unity and a strong grassroots power base. After leading successful voter registration drives in San Jose, Chavez then moved with his wife and family to Oxnard, California, where a campaign to organize farmworkers was underway.
Broadcast in USA over PBS April 16, 1997.
Shown at Sundance Film Festival (in competition) in Park City, Utah January 16-26, 1997.
16mm from videotape
b&w and color