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Fronteras: 'A Song for Cesar' tells the story of the farmworker movement through music and the arts

Civil rights and social justice movements throughout history have been accompanied by soundtracks.

Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye were written at the height of the Vietnam War. “We Shall Overcome” was frequently heard in civil rights marches of the late 1960s.

During that time, Chicano activists defended the rights of farmworkers in a movement that gained traction along the southwestern border of the United States.

The documentary “A Song for Cesar” explores the legacy of civil rights icon César Chávez through the lens of music, theater, and the arts.

The film was written and produced by musician and activist, Abel Sánchez, and film editor and activist, Andrés Alegría.

Alegría said they wanted the documentary to be different than previous works about Chávez.

“What had not been done was telling the story of the farmworkers movement and of César Chávez through the arts,” he said. “(They) were such an important part of the movement.”

Sánchez said the film also highlights how Chávez and the movement inspired people and musicians who weren't Latino.

“I think it’s the universal cry of the people that are on the margins, or underserved, or not as well-served and taken care of,” he said.

“A Song for Cesar” will be screened March 21 at 6 p.m. at Trinity University in San Antonio.

It’s part of the university’s participation in San Antonio’s annual Cesar E. Chavez March for Justice on March 25.

Watch the trailer and video outtakes below:

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1