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Manuel Reyes – Reyes Family Home Movies

Manuel Reyes, 1978-79, Super 8, color, silent with commentary by Verónica Reyes-Escudero & Jennifer Jenkins, 11:24
Locations: Michoacán, Mexico; Yuma, Arizona; Salinas, California
Shown at Home Movie Day Tucson

Transfers by Ping Pong Media
Film courtesy of Manuel Reyes
Copyright Manuel Reyes
Thanks to: Verónica Reyes-Escudero and Jennifer Jenkins

About the Films

These films were shot by Manuel Reyes, uncle of Verónica, and screened for the family at holidays. The footage was shot in Michoacán at the family ranch; in Yuma, Arizona, and Salinas, California. Great-grandparents appear in the footage from Michoacán in the late 1970s. Manuel’s beloved van appears onscreen: Manuel still owns the van, which has made the trip to Michoacán many times. An uncle heads out to work on a burro, and carries firewood.

The agricultural footage shows lettuce-pickers in Yuma, Arizona, and lunch break for the workers. Verónica reports that the family members who worked in the fields had a great sense of community, shown by the presence of the guitarist during the lunch break, the easy camaraderie of the workers, etc. The workers’ march with the UFW banner is blessed by a priest, and the people are not concerned about being filmed.

More typical home movie footage of a family gathering in Salinas: cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents. Manuel hams for the camera, mock-strangling his wife. The cousins are all in their thirties now, with kids of their own.

–Jennifer Jenkins