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Singing Our Way to Freedom: A Discussion with Filmmaker Paul Espinosa

7:00pm – 8:30pm
  • Virtual
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A Discussion with Director Paul Espinosa
Moderators: Dr. Liliana Guerrero and Dr. Jennifer Mata

Official Heartbeats of Freedom Event: An Ethnomusicology Documentary Series

This year, the TLU School of Music is hosting three unique and powerful stories of music as a catalyst for change against systemic legacies. Each film will be available for screening for a period of 14 days on TLU Cinema. As part of the series, there will be a Q&A Zoom session with the director of each film.

The film will screen on TLU Cinema from Tuesday, February 23 until Monday, March 8

This year, the TLU School of Music is hosting three unique and powerful stories of music as a catalyst for change against systemic legacies.

Each film will be available for screening for a period of 14 days on TLU Cinema. As part of the series, there will be a Q&A Zoom session with the director of each film.

Singing Our Way To Freedom chronicles the life and music of Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez from his humble beginnings as a farmworker in Blythe, California to the dramatic moment when he received one of his nation’s highest musical honors at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. As a young man in the 1970s, Chunky joined the picket lines in California and became Cesar Chavez’s favorite musician. His journey is a remarkable lens on a time when young Mexican Americans became Chicanos. Chunky learned how to employ humor, honesty and music to inspire folks to stand up and speak truth to power. His arc of transformation from marginalized farm kid to charismatic social activist shows how one person can mobilize people to change the world, reminding us that the battle for freedom has to be fought anew by every generation.


More About Paul Espinosa

Paul Espinosa is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and educator who has been making films for nearly 40 years. His films explore a wide variety of social and historical issues including school desegregation, immigration, the US-Mexico border, the Mexican Revolution, the lives of undocumented families, gentrification and the 1846 war between Mexico and the United States. Paul's films have been screened at festivals around the world and have won many awards including eight Emmys and major awards from the Santa Barbara, Guadalajara, Minneapolis and Houston International Film Festivals, San Antonio CineFestival, the San Diego Latino Film Festival, the National Latino Film and Video Festival, the American Bar Association, the California Teacher's Association, the California School Boards Association, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Conference on Christians and Jews.


Paul Espinosa

Espinosa received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and his B.A. from Brown University, both degrees in Anthropology. He is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University and has shared his expertise, experience and social activism at festivals, universities and community centers across the Americas. He has received major funding from many agencies including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, ITVS, American Playhouse, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, the California Public Broadcasting Commission and the state humanities councils of California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Among his films for PBS are: The Lemon Grove Incident, The Hunt for Pancho Villa, ...and the earth did not swallow him, The U.S.-Mexican War: 1846-1848, The Price of Renewal, In the Shadow of the Law, The Border, Uneasy Neighbors, 1492 Revisited, and Ballad of an Unsung Hero.