Musical Score By: Mark Kilian

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                The documentary, Dolores, tells the story of Dolores Huerta, an important activist in American history, whose incredible contributions have gone largely unrecognized.  In the 1950s, Dolores was a working-class wife and the mother of eleven children when she helped establish the first farm workers union alongside Cesar Chavez.  Fighting for racial and labor justice, she developed a platform for feminism and gender equality.  The documentary tells the story of Dolores Huerta’s fight against economic poverty, harassment, racism and physical and sexual abuse of farm workers, despite the dangers to herself and the machismo attitudes of certain allies.

                The musical score of Dolores was created by Mark Kilian, a South African composer who began his career as a jazz pianist before earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Piano and a Master’s Degree in Composition and Film Scoring.  In 1994, Kilian moved to Los Angeles for a graduate program in scoring for Motion Pictures and Television and his career as a composer took off.  Since then, he has created musical score for such notable projects as Tsotsi, Traitor, Rendition, Bless Me Ultima, Revenge of the Green Dragons, The Ward, Trust Me, Seal Team 8, Pitch Perfect, Repentance, 41, Killer Women and Daybreak.

                What I love about Mark Kilian musical scores is the fact that he always finds a way to add an ethnic flare to his compositions.  Dolores is no exception.  His use of guitars, piano and woodwinds offer up that ethic flare I was looking for.  They also aid in highlighting dramatic moments in Dolores Huerta’s life, offering up a glimpse of the fire and determination that drives her in her activism, as well as defining some of the harsh plight of laborers prior to and even during the formation of the farm workers union. 

                The Dolores Soundtrack features another excellent score by Mark Killian that I would gladly listen to again and again, whether or not I had ever seen the film.  Mark Kilian does it once again!


For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at