Valley of Tears Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: An expansive chronicle of life in the small south Texas town of Raymondville. Beginning in 1979 and continuing for a full two decades, Perry charted a progression of successes and setbacks by farmworker organizers and community activists in their fights with wealthy landowners and the local political establishment. (Two Boots Pioneer Theater) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. 90
    Dense, contradictory and distressingly honest, Valley of Tears is that rarity among political documentaries: a genuinely thought-provoking film.
  2. The town's entrenched racism is impossible to ignore, but the efforts toward change make a compelling history.
  3. The movie peaks about halfway through, when town officials try to stop Perry from revealing what's going on.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    Fascinating assemblage combines strike footage first shot in 1979 by Perry when he was working for the Texas Farm Workers Union with film and video lensed over the ensuing 20-plus years.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Perry's careful juxtaposition of images showing the town's sad present with footage of what it's long ceased to be is positively haunting.
  6. 60
    Not everything Perry's voices say seems relevant to his central thesis, but they speak fervently and colorfully, and their intensity is compelling even when their message is lacking.
  7. 50
    That's all laudable - but Perry, a longtime filmmaker, should have given the doc more urgency and punch.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3