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Nosotros Venceremos

launch video  Launch video: Nostoros Venceremos

Read the synopsis by creator Jon Lewis

Translation

The video Nosotros Venceremos

Jon Lewis writes about the premiere showing in 1971 of his 11-minute film, “Nosotros Venceremos.”

“By now I fear most pictured in the film have passed away, and I hope they saw it somehow in its limited availability. We premiered it on a bed sheet in a back yard in Delano in September 1971, and a contingent even came down from La Paz that evening. It was shown every half hour or so as the empty beer cans piled up. People were singing, stomping, and hooting as friends appeared on the screen. It has been shown as an ‘art’ film a number of times, but none to compare with that night.

It’s been over 20 years since I’ve seen it projected large before an audience, and I would like to see it with a Spanish-speaking one before I shuffle off this old coil. But it is what I’m leaving behind, and I’m taking tentative steps to ensure its survival.”

The Documentation Project is pleased to bring Jon’s movie to a wide audience through this CD presentation-and after the movie is placed on the project’s web site in July 2005, it will surely have a global audience, especially Spanish-speaking.

In the view of this writer, Jon Lewis captured in his art film (and photos) the indomitable spirit of the striking farmworkers. This spirit is manifested in their eyes, the set of their faces, the purposefulness of their demeanor, and the dignified way in which they carried themselves-truly, these farmworkers in Jon’s photographs are the salt of the earth, the indigenous farmworker icons of the movement.

Jon Lewis was one of the most talented artists ever to be associated with the farmworker movement, and it is an honor for the Documentation Project to present his movie.

Synopsis
by Jon Lewis

song: NOSOTROS VENCEREMOS
“We Shall Overcome” fills the farmworkers meeting hall, as images evoke the land and the life of those on that land: individuals alone, but with a strength and an enduring.

PLAN OF DELANO excerpt:
“We are sons of the Mexican Revolution, a revolution of the poor seeking bread and justice. . .” are words emanating from the spirit of the people, as the camera pans over a sea of faces – immobile, yet poised.

MAN ON PICKET LINE
“Dignidad” is an outcry for dignity, as one man stands.

song: SOLIDARIDAD PA’ SIMPRE
And others stand beside him, taking up the bull horn and picket sign.

song: DE COLORES
And they march in pilgrimage to Sacramento, under the banner of their Virgin of Guadalupe. A handful of women carry the song at first, fragile as trucks zoom past; but as more people join the march, the song emerges resonant in a bursting hall as the capitol’s dome comes into view.

PLAN OF DELANO excerpt:
“All men are brothers, sons of the same God. . .We must use the only strength that we have, the force of our numbers. . .United we shall stand. . .”

HUELGA CHANT
In a staccato of voices and stamping feet, the march is recapitulated to triumph with 10,000 at the capitol.

INTRODUCTION OF CESAR CHAVEZ AT SACRAMENTO
The words come slowly, “he is one of us . . .also born below,” as a series of still lifes explore the outskirts of all valley towns.

CESAR ANNOUNCES THE FIRST CONTRACT
For so historic an occasion after 7 months of the strike, they are simple, soft-spoken words, almost matter-of-fact. Yet, the hand trembles holding that slip of paper, and the voice falters at points – the joy and the pride are there beneath the words, with the knowledge that it has but begun.

song: HUELGA GENERAL
To the jubilant re-telling of the start of the strike, we see the cascading faces of the men, women, and children who were there and defended their farmworkers union.

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