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A Crushing Love
Chicanas, Motherhood and Activism
A film by Sylvia Morales
2009, 58 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W10977
A CRUSHING LOVE, Sylvia Morales’ sequel to her groundbreaking history of Chicana women, CHICANA (1979), honors the achievements of five activist Latinas—labor organizer/farm worker leader Dolores Huerta, author/educator Elizabeth “Betita” Martinez, writer/playwright/educator Cherrie Moraga, civil rights advocate Alicia Escalante, and historian/writer Martha Cotera - and considers how these single mothers managed to be parents and effect broad-based social change at the same time.

Questions about reconciling competing demands are ones that highly acclaimed filmmaker Sylvia Morales, a working mother of two herself, pondered aloud as she prepared this documentary. Historical footage and recent interviews with each woman reveal their contributions to key struggles for Latino empowerment and other major movements of our time. Both they and their grown children thoughtfully explore the challenges, adaptations, rewards, and missteps involved in juggling dual roles. Scenes of Morales at work and at home, often humorously overlaid with her teenage daughter’s commentary, bring the dilemma up to date. Chicana continues to be used in classrooms more than thirty years after it was made; A CRUSHING LOVE is a memorable sequel which offers us indelible portraits of unforgettable women, including one of Morales herself.


    “Morales comes full circle to an unprecedented chronicle of the rich history of US Latina women’s leadership, strength and struggle in the workplace, the family, community, society, the world.”
    John Ramirez, Ph.D.
    Prof. of Television, Film & Media Studies, CSU Los Angeles

    “With honesty and insight,…this documentary is perhaps the first to put the ‘personal’ back into the history of the Chicano civil rights movement.”
    Chon A. Noriega
    Dir., UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center

    “A critical document on maternity and its challenges, about the crushing force of love for one’s family and community.”
    Kathleen McHugh
    Professor & Dir., UCLA Center for the Study of Women

    "Recommended...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."
    Educational Media Reviews Online

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    A Crushing Love is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us