Documentary film maker Carlos Sandoval has a knack for doing deep-dives into issues and events that frame the U.S. Latino experience. He was in San Antonio for a screening of his film “A Class Apart,” which he produced in 2009. It’s the story of the landmark 1954 Hernandez v Texas, a seminal case in the history of Latino civil rights.
We talked about that, about his other films, what motivates him, what he’s curious about and the process of putting a documentary together.
Time flew as we recorded this. Carlos is a compelling conversationalist, you’ll see.
[Photo courtesy of PBS]
Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement is the most comprehensive account of the arduous struggle by Mexican Americans to secure and protect their civil rights. It is also a companion volume to the critically acclaimed, four-part documentary series of the same title. This volume is a testament to the Mexican American community’s hard-fought battle for social and legal equality as well as political and cultural identity.
Since the United States-Mexico War in 1846-1848, Mexican Americans have striven to achieve full rights as citizens. From peaceful resistance and violent demonstrations, when their rights were ignored or abused, to the establishment of support organizations to carry on the struggle and the formation of labor unions to provide a united voice, the movement grew in strength and numbers. However, it was during the 1960s and 1970s that the campaign exploded into a nationwide groundswell of Mexican Americans laying claim, once and for all, to their civil rights and asserting their cultural heritage. They took a name that had been used disparagingly against them for years—Chicano—and fashioned it into a battle cry, a term of pride, affirmation and struggle.