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A cinematic portrayal of famed labor organizer Cesar E. Chavez, focusing on Chavez's fearless determination in organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for over 50,000 farm workers in California.
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I rented this movie on Amazon dot com, and then watched it two times back to back.
At different times in the movie they have inserted short pieces of actual film footage (black and white film) from the Delano CA. area when these events were actually taking place.
The movie sometimes moves to quickly through the events taking place where I wish the filmmaker's would have spent more time with, instead of rushing from one scene to another scene. But with that being said, it is still a good movie that I believe everyone should watch. This is an important part of our history in this country.
Michael Pena did a good job in the role of Cesar Chavez. Michael also portrayed Sal Castro in the movie Walk Out, which is another good movie that could be shown back to back with this movie.
In this movie it also shows how that after Richard Nixon is elected / selected as president, what looks like the police, the sheriffs dept. and the CHP began beating the strikers with clubs, men, women, and children. These scenes reminded me of the scenes from the movie Walk Out when the police began beating the high school kids in east L.A. with clubs for walking out of their class rooms to protest the inhuman ways in which they were being treated in the government schools.
The first job I ever had when I was a kid, was picking potatoes in the fields just outside of Wasco, which is about 20 miles from Delano. I hope that some day, someone with a bigger budget, will make a longer and more detailed movie about life of Cesar Chavez. But until then, this movie is a good starting place.
The story of Cesar Chavez & farm workers is going to be painful. You are dealing with injustice, racism, & exploitation to the fullest. Movies are entertainment and about the bottom line. So one has to watch with a jaundice eye, knowing that this was written & made digestable to the majority population. Excluding farm workers from the National Labor Relations Act of the 1930s, restricting people of color to the minimal, unskilled areas of employment had consequences. It meant that the majority Mexican population would live on the margins, there children would attend inferior schools, trying to overcome a slew of serious social/economic problems
Chavez must be appreciated for the sacrifice & effort he made in attempting to unionize farm workers, a group that the mainstream society did not care about & still doesn't. So I enjoyed the performances, cringed at what was missing, but appreciated the effort.
I did not like how a 'tribute' screenplay skipped so freely over their subject's actual social justice philosphy. Chavez ultimately came to understand that all forms of discrimination were intrinsically connected--and wrong. The table grape boycott was successfull because he was gennuinely interested in other social groups. Getting people to care about your cause is naturally easy when you first care about them. This too would be an important lesson in today's me-first society, even for political groups and campaigns. We all do better when everyone first does better.
The film is interesting if you like historical movies and know Chavez's actual background for a 'fill in the gaps'. It's not a must purchase.
Secondly, it was just a plain good story, told credibly with some respectful acting from Michael Peña. Thirdly, concerning themes that focus on social causes, it helps center those of Mexican heritage right where they belong, central to California's rich diversity and to its stature this nation's most influential state. But really, it is a pretty good story, properly and credibly told.