Andres Alegría Interviewed on Literary Dialogs with Nina Serrano
I was excited to interview my old friend of many years, prize winning filmmaker, Andres Alegría, about his new film “A Song for Cesar” for La Raza Chronicles on KPFA 94.1 FM radio. Our friendship goes back to Andres’ radio days at KPFA, producing bilingual shows long ago in the 70’s. Andres Alegría has since gone on to win many prizes as a filmmaker and video producer. Most notable is his brand film made with Abel Sanchez to celebrate the work of Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers Union, and the Chicano arts movement it inspired. This was a film mandated by the late African-American poet, Maya Angelou.
‘A Song for Cesar’ Rave Reviews
It has already opened in Los Angeles to rave reviews.
The Los Angeles Times said,
“A Song for Cesar” doesn’t need to be slick to reveal its beating heart. It’s the kind of labor of love that brings recent history into colorful and tuneful focus. And with conditions for farm workers these days, hardly tolerable still, maybe this movie can be absorbed as a song “from” Cesar too.”
The Movie Gourmet said.
“’A Song for Cesar’ is a rich documentary on the role of music and the arts in the critical years of Cesar Chavez’s United Farmworkers movement- so rich that it is much more than that. There’s a time capsule of the turbulent 1960’s, the story of emerging Chicano identity and a meditation on the role of the arts in political activism -all embedded in a compelling history lesson.”
“A Song for Cesar” highlights many musicians who have played for the farmworker movement over the decades well beyond the 1960’s. Some of the musicians included in the film are Joan Baez, Taj Mahal, Graham Nash, Los Lobos, Lila Downs and others. It also spills over into many art forms the movement engendered, like theatre, poster making and poetry. Artists include Cheech Marin, Malaquias Montoya, Maya Angelou, Luis Valdez, Daniel Valdez, Edward James Olmos and others. Focusing on the farmworker movement, the film documents how artists found inspiration and opportunity to become activists in their individual art disciplines.
I interviewed Andres just as he returned from the Los Angeles film screening where he caught a cold. But thankfully he still agreed to this Zoom interview on his marvelous film. You can find out when and where the next showings of the film are on the website: songforcesar.com. The La Raza Chronicles radio interview will be broadcast on March 29, 2022 at 7 PM to honor Cesar Chavez.