A Crushing Love

Chicanas, Motherhood and Activism

A film by Sylvia Morales

2009 | 58 minutes | Color | DVD | Order No. 10977


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


Sylvia Morales

Sylvia Morales has directed, written, produced and edited award winning and nationally recognized film and video work for the last 30 years. She directed episodes from the three seasons of Showtimes' groundbreaking series, Resurrection Blvd, working with actors Elizabeth Pena, Lou Gossett, Jr., Michael De Lorenzo and Esai Morales. She also wrote and directed for the Showtime series, Women: Stories of Passion. Morales was one of the producing and writing teams for the award winning series, Chicano! The Mexican Civil Rights Movement for PBS. She directed for the ACE and Emmy nominated six-hour series, A Century of Women, which focused on 20th century U.S. women for Turner Broadcasting, Ms. Morales headed the Latino Consortium at KCET in Los Angeles from 1981-1985. She was responsible for the programming, production and distribution of programs that aired on PBS. During her four-year tenure at KCET, Ms. Morales hosted the Latino Consortium's weekly national series, Presente, and produced and directed Emmy nominated and award winning programs. Ms. Morales produced, directed, shot and edited the widely recognized film, CHICANA, in 1979. Ms. Morales has been the recipient of the following awards: the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship Award in Media; a participant in the American Film Institute's Directing Workshop for Women; a Fellow from the National Endowment of the Arts; the VESTA Award which honors the outstanding contribution of Southern California women to the arts; and she was honored with a Salute to Latinas Award for distinguished work in her field from the city of Los Angeles. She was also honored by Comision Femenil Mexicana Nacional's 20th Anniversary celebration for "Latinas in Film and Television." (8/14)


Shopping Cart