(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Cesar Chavez is a good historical movie that shows one person taking a stand for not just race equality, but workers equality, the movie does a great job in showing what Chavez have to go through, and what adversity he faced in achieving his goal, peacefully, a good watch for Historians, especially those with a passion of Latino history. 4 Stars out of 5.
I have to be honest, even though I’m Latino, I didn’t know too much about the history of Cesar Chavez and what he did for equal rights for all workers. I knew his name, but I never really gave much attention to it, maybe because my family weren’t really farmers, they were more laborers and doctors. Maybe because I looked into more controversial Latino revolutionary leaders like Che Guevara. (Now I lost the whole Cuban population, sorry.) Or maybe it’s because I lived in Boston, and what Chavez did didn’t really affect that city. I don’t know, but I was too ignorant when it came to him. That’s why I’m glad they did make a movie about him, it was a way for me to learn what he did, and how he made an impact to a lot of people. It was like I’m in school all over again, except I was more willing to learn about this great historical man. I will start with what I like, to what I thought was so-so.
What I liked, I liked that the movie did it’s job in showing what Cesar Chavez did. It may seem almost like a documentary for some people than a real movie, but I believe that’s what the movie was really trying to do, to inform us how important was Chavez’s movement for all farmers to have equal union rights like all workers. i was impressed by the direction from Mexican actor Diego Luna in showing the story and importance of Chavez. It’s amazing to show the attitudes of white Americans during those times, that they see us as expendable tools than human beings, or for other white Americans and evil race. Just like how the South viewed Black people at the time as well, the white people thought they have power over us just by the color of their skin or where we came from. I also liked the fact how the movie shows that Chavez took a script off of Martin Luther King Jr. in running peaceful protests instead of violent protests. It gave me the reminder that i should not let my emotions take over me, cuz that’s what they want, to give them a good excuse in why we shouldn’t protest. Instead, if you run peaceful protests, no matter what the other people will do, they will look like the bad guys, not us. That’s why I give a lot of respect to MLK, Gandhi, and Chavez, cuz they made a stand in a peaceful way, and people need to learn from them and why it really works. I also liked the fact that when his United Farm Workers union people were leaning towards violent protests that Chavez took a page out of Gandhi’s book in going on a hunger strike until all the people in his union sign to run a peaceful nonviolent protest. It showed his struggle during his 25 day hunger strike, but it showed how the people changed their minds in that they needed him, and do it his way. I like the fact that during his protest movement that he worked off of donations from people around the country which enabled him to run a credit union for his union people, and extra tools and boots for their march to Sacramento, it shows the type of support he got, especially from Senator Robert Kennedy. I liked the fact that it showed it wasn’t only for Latino farm workers, but for Filipino farm workers as well. That showed me that it wasn’t about race, it was about farm workers period. I liked the fact that the movie showed how the Republican party showed they didn’t care about what Chavez is doing, and how it almost back lashed when Nixon became president. But it showed that Chavez had better foreign policy than most Republicans including today, that it’s about equal rights for all people than the product themselves, and had a little Boston Tea Party with grapes, which was the turning point for winning the protest. I also liked the other view of the farm owners and why they didn’t want to concede, it showed a good argument for them, but how it really comes down to race that created social injustice. Lastly, I liked the fact how during his whole involvement with the Union and protests showed how it affected his family. Most notably his oldest son, who doesn’t understand why he shouldn’t fight back when he was being racially bullied. Also showed how hard it is to balance a Union protest and family time. He almost lost his son, and i liked that he always tried as hard as he can to be there for his family. That rings true to everyone today like police officers, teachers, lawyers, and even the President himself. I thought the movie really showed what Chavez is all about, and how much of a good man he is.
What I find so-so, let’s face it, Michael Pena did a great acting job, but he didn’t look like Cesar Chavez at all. Then again, most actors don’t really, but I give tremendous credit to movies like Ali, Che, Invictus, and The Butler that really made the actors look like the historical characters. However, most movies try but don’t achieve but the movies are good anyways. The acting was decent. America Ferrera played well in becoming Helen Chavez, Cesar Chavez’s wife. I thought Rosario Dawson needs to work more on her Latino accent in playing Dolores Huerta. I was impressed in seeing John Malkovich playing a farm owner. I believe he showed true character in what the farm owners thought during that time, and how much depression he surmounted during the whole protest. I was impressed in how he spoke Spanish even though he has a creepy voice.
Overall, I believe this is a good movie for all people to see why Cesar Chavez is a very important historical person in US History. It shows why us as Latinos should be proud of him, and take his lead when it comes to immigration rights today. I learned a lot from this movie, and it raised my belief in why I believe in Unions. The Republicans are trying to take that right away today, but us as working people have to stay strong, and not let them take advantage of us. As the Declaration of Independence says, “That All Men are Created Equal.” This movie was just an example of what we can do, let’s do it, no matter what speed bumps lay ahead, just do it. Rating 4 out of 5 Stars.