Raymondville, Texas, once known as the onion capital of the world, is a rich agricultural area at the Gulf of Mexico. In 1979 a strike was organized by Mexican-American farm workers to protest poor wages and working conditions.
When pistols were flourished and strike leaders arrested, migrant worker Juanita Valedez recalls, “We realized for the first time Mexican-Americans had rights, that we were the majority… that we were Americans.” Valley of Tears vividly documents twenty years of the brave struggle for equality in this racially divided town.
Valley of Tears explores the struggle of a small town community in The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas to overcome inequalities. The documentary starts in 1979 when the majority of Mexican-Americans protested against the small group of “Anglo” farmers who ran the town. The filmmakers have continued to film this conflict for over twenty years. Footage filmed during 1978 to 1980 provides a cinema verité archive on Mexican-American life in the Valley illustrating the impact a well-documented event has on the present day.