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A Crushing Love: Chicanas, Motherhood and Activism cover photo

A Crushing Love: Chicanas, Motherhood and Activism 2009


Distributed by Women Make Movies, 462 Broadway, New York, NY 10013; 212-925-0606
Produced by Sylvia Morales
Directed by Sylvia Morales
DVD, color, 88 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Multicultural Studies, Parenting, Women's Studies

Date Entered: 07/08/2010

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

For nearly all parents in a post-industrial society, finding a balance between job and family life is a fundamental issue of concern. For single mothers, trying to find the time and energy to both work and parent, the conflict may be acute. In this sharply focused documentary award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, Sylvia Morales parenthetically considers her own questions about finding this balance in relation to five women deeply involved in the Latina rights movement.

The stories, along with archival photographs and newsreel footage, of Dolores Huerta, Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, Cherrie Moraga, Alicia Escalante, and Martha Cotera illustrate the causes, meaning and consequences of being compelled to choose a life committed to social justice. Each of the women interviewed provides a context for her development and growth as a political and social activist. Several adult children of the women are also interviewed and provide an interesting perspective on what it meant to share his/her mother with the world. Both the activists and the children recognize the sacrifice and deep personal cost of the work and achievements gained.

The film does a fine job of combining social history and biography, providing a glimpse of an important social justice movement, along with some of the significant individuals who carried it forward. Recommended.