Artist Development



In the copious volumes written about Cesar Chavez and how he formed the first farm workers' union in America, there's little mention of Dolores Huerta, although she was his equal partner and co-founder of the union.

In the first film of its kind, Dolores sheds light on this enigmatic, intensely private woman who is among the most important activists in American history. With unprecedented access to both Dolores and her children, the film reveals the raw, personal stories behind the public figure. It portrays a woman both heroic and flawed, working tirelessly for social change even as her eleven children longed to have her at home.

The film follows Dolores Huerta's fascinating life, from the fearless young woman confronting teamsters on violent picket lines to the activist grandmother nearly beaten to death by a San Francisco police squad. Overshadowed by the legacy of Cesar Chavez and forced from the ranks of the all-male union leadership after his death, Dolores learns the painful truth—that her gender is the greatest obstacle of all. But she turns her defeat into inspiration, setting the course for a lifetime pursuit of equality for all.

While tracing her trajectory through the most radical social and cultural movements of the past 50 years, from brown power and feminism to LGBTQ rights and environmental justice, Dolores provides an unflinching look at the barriers faced by women and people of color within the very communities they're fighting for. Featuring interviews with Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, and Luis Valdez the film reveals her ever-expanding wave of influence through decades of activism, and leading many to ask why her contributions have been erased from American history.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Peter Bratt (director/writer/producer) is an award winning screenwriter and independent filmmaker whose first feature Follow Me Home premiered in competition at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Feature Film Audience Award that same year at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In 2009, he and his brother Benjamin produced, La Mission, a feature film shot on location in their hometown of San Francisco. La Mission, which Peter wrote and directed, premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was the opening night film at the 2009 San Francisco International Film Festival, the 2009 New York International Latino Film Festival, and the 2009 Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles. For his work on La Mission, Peter received the prestigious Norman Lear Writer’s award and was one of 10 American independent filmmakers selected by Sundance and the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities to launch Sundance Film Forward – a program that uses film and conversation to excite and introduce a new generation to the power of story. Peter is currently the co-writer and director of Dolores, a feature documentary about the life of controversial activist, Dolores Huerta – a film he is co-producing with Brian Benson and Grammy Award winning musician, Carlos Santana. Peter is also a San Francisco Film Commissioner and a long time consultant for the Friendship House Association of American Indians, a local non-profit serving the Bay Area’s Native population.

Brian Benson (producer) is an award-winning Bay Area producer and assistant director with over three dozen films and hundreds of commercial projects under his belt. After his film Haiku Tunnel screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2001 he was awarded the prestigious Sundance Producing Fellowship. Brian co-produced Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s film Howl and assistant directed Peter Bratt’s La Mission and Marielle Heller’s Diary of a Teenage Girl, starring Kristen Wiig and Alexander Skarsgård. As writer/director, he has just completed his 9th short film in an award-winning film series, he is writing a musical feature film which he will direct and he teaches a course in Film Production and Financing at San Francisco State University.

Jessica Congdon (co-writer/producer) produced, co-wrote & edited the documentary films Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In with Jennifer Siebel Newsom, which premiered at Sundance in 2011 and 2015. Other editing highlights include the documentaries Race to Nowhere, DesertRunners, Speed and Angels, Motherland, The Bronzer; and the narrative features Big Girls Don’t Cry and Sundance award winner Dopamine. Jessica is a founding editor of Umlaut Films in San Francisco, and her commercial work has received numerous editing awards, including the Cannes Lions awards. She grew up in Washington, D.C., received her degree from UC Berkeley, and studied film at the Art Institute of Chicago
Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English
  • Year: 2017
  • Running time: 90
  • Director(s): Peter Bratt
  • Producer(s): Brian Benson, Peter Bratt, Carlos Santana, Benjamin Bratt, Jennifer Petrucelli
  • Writer(s): Peter Bratt, Jessica Congdon
  • Cinematographer(s): Jesse Dana
  • Editor(s): Jessica Congdon
  • Music: Mark Killian
  • With: Dolores Huerta, Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Luis Valdez
  • Website:

FSP 1533
2016 Documentary Film Fund Winner