Marissa Aroy’s “Delano Manongs” gets a sold-out screening at CAAMFest2014 in San Francsico Sunday night. Just saw a preview of the documentary and it fills in the blanks in the Filipino-less, UFW/Cesar Chavez story.
It clearly shows how the Filipinos and the Mexican workers forged a union to fight for fairness.
Aroy’s documentary (which will be making the festival circuit and shown on PBS station KVIE-Sacramento) is in stark contrast to the new narrative feature film on Cesar Chavez opening up in your nearest 12-plex. But the multi-million dollar feature film very conveniently streamlines the UFW saga to make it seem like Chavez did it all.
Oh, a Filipino actor is seen, but it’s almost like an extra.
Accuracy is not a strong point.
In one historical scene, the feature film leaves out Filipino labor leader Larry Itliong entirely.
I asked Arroy if the filmmakers should have made Larry a more prominent part in the new commercial picture opening next week.
“It was a conscious omission,” said Arroy in a phone interview just. “And I……(long pause) ….I think it’s unfortunate not to have Larry there at the table.”
See my post on Itliong:
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Oct. 25 is the 100th birthday of Larry Itliong, the iconic Filipino American farm worker labor leader overshadowed by Cesar Chavez. On this podcast, I interview Fred Basconcillo, a former national president of the Iron Workers Union.
Basconcillo, 76, knew Itliong and was mentored by him. Basconcillo says why Itliong was important and why he may have been overlooked by historians. He also shares stories of Itliong, including an episode that may have led to a split between Itliong and Chavez. Basconcillo says Itliong was upset Chavez treated Filipino workers differently at one site in the Coachella Valley where goonies were called in to beat up Filipino workers.
The podcast is about 13 minutes long, and was recorded on 10/22/2013 at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco after a Filipino American History month program honoring the 69th anniversary of the Leyte Landing.( Leyte was a turning point in World War II where U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, accompanied by Sergio Osmena and Carlos Romulo, returned to liberate the Philippines).
Read more: http://aaldef.org/blog/restoring-larry-itliong-to-his-rightful-place-during-filipino-american-history-month.html
Fred Basconcillo, one of the few first generation Filipino Americans born and raised in America, at a Filipino History Month celebration of the Alvarado Project at the San Francisco Philippine Consulate.