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Viva la Causa, 500 Years of Chicano History (version in English) [VHS] (1995)

Doug Norberg  |  VHS Tape
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Directors: Doug Norberg
  • Format: Box set, Collector's Edition, Color, NTSC
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: Collision Course Video Productions & SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP)
  • VHS Release Date: September 15, 1995
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1891871005
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

ˇViva la Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History is a two-part educational video in English. It offers a compelling overview of the history of Mexican American people. Part One depicts Mexican Americans from their pre-Columbian origins through Spanish colonization up to World War II. Part Two includes the 1943 "Zoot Suit Riots" and early efforts to fight discrimination. This item includes two videocassettes.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(8)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The people united will never be defeated! June 15, 2000
¡Viva la Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History, a 2-part educational video in English, offers a compelling introduction to the history of Mexican American people. Based on the book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martínez. The video is suitable for youth in grades 5 - 12 and up, as well as community gatherings.
PART ONE of the video depicts Mexican Americans from their pre-Columbian origins through Spanish colonization, the U.S. take over of today's Southwest in 1848, the people's resistance, workers creating great wealth, and their massive strikes, up to World War II.
PART TWO includes the 1943 "Zoot Suit Riots," and early efforts to fight discrimination, the farmworkers' struggle, student protests, the Chicano Moratorium against the U.S. war in Vietnam, and new Chicano art. Today's Latino struggles bring the video up to date.
¡Viva la Causa! 500 Years of Chicano History is a unique, inspiring tool for everyone to learn about one of our oldest yet least known peoples.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevant and educational July 17, 2006
Viva la Causa! aims high and does what most documentaries can't: Offers a coherent, relevant history of its subject matter (Chicano/Chicana people) in the space of just 60 minutes.

Both parts of this film do justice both to the most important people and events in Chicano history, but also to the lesser-known but equally important contributions of many individuals and organizations (especially women)

Like the video cover says, this film is sympathetic to the issues of Chicanos, and other oppressed peoples, without flinching from difficulties facing "el Movimiento" including class, sexism, interracial unity and homophobia. Obviously the filmmakers' refreshing look flows from their committment to not just document the world but play a role in changing it for the better.

Although its surprisingly fresh for being ten years old, one wishes it could be updated to include the aftermath of Prop. 187 in California banning bilingual education and the Primero de Mayo protests throughout the country this year in response to immigrant-bashing in Congress.

But in just one hour this two-part film provides an excellent people's history and forms a nice starting point for learning the history of Chicanos and Chicanas with an eye on making some history, too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicano History 101 October 27, 2004
This is great for any student who is studying Chicano History for the first time. Also great for anyone who calls himself Chicano but has no idea of thier past history.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Do not view this film if you are looking for mainstream research style objectivity. Do view this film if you would like to hear the words and see the point of view of an oppressed people. One does not view the writings of the victims of the Holocaust, Slave Trade, or the Native American Genocide as being unbiased, balanced, or academic. These writings and films are the voices of the losers. We live in a time where their voices can help us make winners of all who fall prey to future conflicts. View this film as though it were YOUR ancestors that were oppressed and let the college professors enjoy their self-indulgent auto intellectualism.
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