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Cesar Chavez (2014)

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A biography of the civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.

Director:

Diego Luna

Writers:

Keir Pearson (screenplay), Timothy J. Sexton
5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kerry Adra Kerry Adra ... American Lady
Maynor Alvarado ... Chato Chavez
Yancey Arias ... Gilbert Padilla
Wes Bentley ... Jerry Cohen
Sara Banerjee ... Concerned Mother #1
Jacob Vargas ... Richard Chavez
Liv Boughn Liv Boughn ... Concerned Mother #2
Darion Basco ... Larry Itliong
Lisa Brenner ... Jackie Stringer
Duncan Bridgeman Duncan Bridgeman ... Anchor
Aldo Ceceña Aldo Ceceña ... Chucho
Michael Cudlitz ... Sherriff Smith
Roger Cudney ... Grower
Rosario Dawson ... Dolores Huerta
America Ferrera ... Helen Chavez
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Storyline

Chronicling the birth of a modern American movement, Cesar Chavez tells the story of the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers. Passionate but soft-spoken, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle to bring dignity to people. Chavez inspired millions of Americans from all walks of life who never worked on a farm to fight for social justice. His triumphant journey is a remarkable testament to the power of one individual's ability to change the world. Written by Pantelion Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

History is made one step at a time. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

28 March 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cesar Chavez: An American Hero See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,861,528, 30 March 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,550,866, 4 May 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cesar mentions Selma, in 1965 Martin Luther King Jr. who also did peaceful protest for black civil rights, Selma is also a town in Central California near Hanford and Lemoore See more »

Quotes

Cesar Chavez: Who started it?
Fernando Chavez: I told you, they started calling us names.
Cesar Chavez: No, who started the fight?
Fernando Chavez: We didn't have a choice.
Cesar Chavez: You always have a choice.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #31.10 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

De colores
Public Domain
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User Reviews

 
Cesar Chaves, a film to open and inspire the heart

We live on the edge of a time when mass movements could once again become decisive. Cesar Chaves, Diego Luna's latest film, reminds us that heart is what empowers people to overcome injustice.

Luna has picked a fabulous cast and a respectable script that brings to life the immense story of a very intense struggle to give farmworkers the basic right to organize. Filmed where the real events took place, Luna captures the stark,windswept and washed out beauty of the vast Southern San Joaquin Valley. He shows us the faces of the people who toil so that we might live. Through a strong performance by John Malkovich, Luna captures the patriarchal mentality that allows one to exploit others to build wealth. This sparks outrage and one is moved to identify with the Chaves and the small brave band that he led.

Michael Pena as Chaves is believable and endearing because the methodical, measured intensity of the man comes through and when moments of rage and deep emotion well up in his character the contrast is riveting. You understand why people followed. But it is the women that I found most interesting, particularly America Ferrera as Helen Fabela Chaves. And without Dolores Huerta (Rosario Dawsom) he could not have succeeded. She was the more politically adept. It was the women in his life that empowered him to be great.

The film is not flawless and the 101 minute running time is the key problem. The story is simply too big given the number of compelling characters and the complexities of the real events. I longed to understand more about his son, his brother, the growers, Huerta and Helen. I would have appreciated seeing more of the power struggles among leaders, which must exist within any movement.

But overall, I am pleased that Luna, his cast and crew respectably brought to the cinema this very American story that helps me to remember why I love this country. Social movements do make progress despite darker forces because valiant hearts bonded by the vision of a better world do not give up.


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