SXSW Review: Cesar Chavez

“Once social change begins it can’t be reversed you can’t humiliate someone who has pride and you can’t oppress someone who is not afraid anymore.” – Cesar Chavez

The feature length biography chronicles the life of the civil-rights revolutionary Cesar Chavez, following him as he rages a peaceful struggle towards the basic human rights of mexican farm labourers. Leading an unprecedented strike, boycott and pilgrimage his sole actions lead his people to being about one of Americas greatest defining moments of Social Change. Chavez embraced the advantage of using non-violence so much so that he fasted for twenty seven days to ensure that no violence would be used on behalf of the movement. Battling the corporate and government America Chavez gathered and inspired millions of Mexican immigrants and Americans from all over the country leading them to join the fight for social justice.

Michael Peña’s has undertaken the immensely challenging role of portraying Cesar E. Chavez and what he has conveyed on screen is a performance that is overwhelmingly deserving of awards recognition. Alongside Michael Peña’s staggering performance is John Malkovich, Michael Cudlitz, Mark Moses, and America Ferrera, delivering an inspiring portrayal as Cesar’s wife Helen Chavez. Cesar Chavez director Diego Luna has made a this biopic with his authentic cinematic style reminiscent of his ‘J.C. Chávez’ 2007 Documentary.

Cesar Chavez made its appearance on the festival scene at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year where the cast and crew turned up to show their support for the film which has continued onward to become one of the centrepieces of the South By Southwest Film Festival this March. The biopic received a great response from the moment it premiered at its debut screening with rave reviews and festival goers superbly inspired and SXSW has been no different, as audiences have made this one of the most discussed features of the festival. The only downside mentioned in the buzz surrounding its SXSW debut is the extensive length of time between the main chapters of Cesar’s life, even as such this is overall a inspiring and interesting biopic that follows the life of the Chavez family very truly to the history books.

Audiences should expect a feel good feature that is all but definitely set to leave you inspired by the history Cesar Chavez made over the five years he raged his push for Social Change.


Watch the trailer for the monumental piece of cinema Cesar Chavez below, which will be released throughout the US cinemas on March 28th.


About the Author


James Rush is the Founding, News & Chief Editor for TFM.


Posted in Festivals, Movies, Reviews, SXSW Film Festival