Singing Our Way to Freedom

A film by Paul Espinosa

This film was screened as a part of the 2019 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF22)

With director Paul Espinosa in attendance

This feature was preceded by the short film Sin vergüenza / Without Shame


Singing Our Way to Freedom


USA, Documentary/Human Rights/Music/Political, 2018
87 min, Color/Black & White
English, Spanish with English subtitles

How did a young Mexican American kid from a small rural town in the middle of nowhere learn about the power of music and imagination in the fight for social justice? 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.

Austin Premiere


Paul EspinosaPaul Espinosa is an award-winning filmmaker and president of Espinosa Productions, a San Diego production company specializing in films focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region. His many films for PBS include THE LEMON GROVE INCIDENT, …AND THE EARTH DID NOT SWALLOW HIM, THE HUNT FOR PANCHO VILLA, THE U.S.-MEXICAN WAR, IN THE SHADOW OF THE LAW and BALLAD OF AN UNSUNG HERO. His films have screened at festivals around the world and have won many awards including eight Emmys.



Producer: Paul Espinosa, Mark Day, Michael Bovee
Production Companies: Espinosa Productions
Screenwriter: Paul Espinosa
Cinematographer: Simone Hogan, Vicente Franco
Editor: Maria Zeiss
Sound Design: Jeremy Grody
Music: Quetzal Flores
Cast: Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez, Alma Martinez (Narrator)

Print Source: Espinosa Productions,