Children of Giant, Chicano Films, Hector Galan, Mexican Americans in Film
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tv documentary filmmaker Hector Galan - The Children of Giant
by Juan Castillo, NBC News - April 16, 2015

As Hollywood blockbusters go, the epic "Giant" was a behemoth befitting the grandeur of the Texas plains.

Shot in 1955 in the dusty West Texas hamlet of Marfa and riding the megastar power of Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean, "Giant" was the sweeping, epic drama about three generations of a Texas ranching dynasty. Based on Edna Ferber's controversial novel, the movie's release in 1956 was a monster hit at the box office and garnered 10 Academy Award nominations.

But as the new film "Children of Giant" tenderly documents, "Giant" was a new kind of Western, one which explored themes of prejudice and racial intolerance in Texas and the Southwest. "Giant" director George Stevens exposed something never before seen on the big screen - the systemic segregation and isolation of Mexican Americans.

"I think the majority of the American people then didn't realize this was going on in the Southwest," "Children of Giant" director Hector Galán told NBC News. "Everybody was aware of the Jim Crow laws against African Americans and what they had to endure. But those same laws applied to Mexican Americans."

VIDEO: PBS Documentary "Children of Giant" Full Show (1:24:55)
Mexican actress Elsa Cardenas on set of movie Giant
New Documentary Tells Story Of Latino Actors In Movie "Giant"
sign allowing refusal of service to Mexicans in movie Giant (1956)
Pivotal Scene In 'Giant' A Complicated 1st For Mexican-Americans
PBS documentary 'Children of Giant'
Latin Heat: Hector Galan’s New Documentary "Children of Giant"
How '50s James Dean Movie Dared Show Racism Against Chicanos
How '50s Movie "Giant" Dared Show Racism Against Chicanos
Mexican Americans seen segregated from White Americans in Texas
"Children of Giant" Shows Iconic Film "Giant" in Historic Context
"Children of Giant" TV documentary filmmaker Hector Galan
Read this complete article at: NBC News