Cesar Chavez Blu-ray Review
Cesar Chavez is a dramatic film about a
leader in American history: the real-life Cesar Chavez who helped to
50,000 farm workers in California to fight for better working
better pay, and rights. During the 1960's and 1970's Chavez played an
role in a lot of workers' rights reforms and made a impact still
this modern time (even if things are not always perfect to this day). These American citizens immigrated from Mexico
hoping for a better and brighter future and faced unfair wages
farming employers who cared more about the many millions in higher
and encouraging to these hardworking citizens, Chavez made a difference
undeniably relevant to countless lives.
The story of Chavez still feels relevant to this
more discussions and efforts nationwide towards determining new minimum
guidelines and current labor work problems, it's important for this
serve as a reminder of the power of peaceful and determined protests
strength of human beings working together with one mission. Important films of this nature are important
to produce and share with the world. It's quite difficult to comprehend
this is the first feature film made about Cesar Chavez, but it's a
that one has finally been made.
Immigrant farmer workers struggled just to be paid
for a day's work. Despite pulling the food and helping with intensive
that feeds Americans, these American workers faced an injustice in the
where they struggled to put food on the table for their own families. A
would help to feed other families - and not even be paid enough to be
for their own family. The story of these workers, who organized and
peacefully to make the point in a courageous way is another reason why
story is so essential. The story of these hardworking laborers and
peaceful protests needed to be told on film.
Actor turned director Diego Luna is a far more
filmmaker than one might imagine. It's only the actor's second film
behind-the-scenes as director (the first being the acclaimed Abel which
was released in 2010). Having
seen Luna in many films in smaller roles, I've always enjoyed the
efforts of this
great performer but was genuinely pleased and amazed with the
he demonstrated as a director with Cesar Chavez. One could
something of this caliber was not made by a second-time director but by
with an extensive directing background. It's a joy to see how Diego's
determination to tell this important story has resulted in one of the
films of the year.
The film's screenplay was written by Academy Award
Keir Pearson (Hotel Rwanda) and Timothy J. Sexton (Children
Walkout, Live from Baghdad). The script was well
includes a lot of material drawn from interactions with the Chavez
certainly a film that focuses more on the positive than the negative.
is about things important to the human soul: hope and belief in
better - the ability to go beyond something and to find a peace and
within life. This is an American dream and something that clearly
believed in. The script touches on these ideas with skill. It certainly
like one of the most well-written scripts of the year, and I think the
successfully found a good balance between dramatizing events and
working as a
history discussion and lesson.
The film's primary goal is showcasing the journey
of Chavez (Michael
Pena) and those around him and why fighting for these undervalued and
immigrants was so important. The story showcases the hardworking nature
Chavez, his determination to organize, and the help of Helen (America
Chavez's equally determined wife and partner in the movement. Helen had
impact on the journey and helped to raise their eight children almost
own amidst her own the dedication to the movement. Everything was
the Chavez family, including a hunger strike done during the workers
Cesar Chavez for weeks until he was barely alive. These moments are
dramatic life with the remarkable performances by the actors, who seem
to so envelop
these characters that the film's rich storytelling is strengthened
significantly. Pena sinks into the role
and through his great performance feels almost unrecognizable. Ferrera
one of her best performances; delivering heart and style to her role.
Dolores Huerta (Rosario Dawson) also was a huge
part of the
movement in helping to create the United Farm Workers alongside Chavez
film explores her integral part in the creation of the unionization.
also wisely emphasizes the roles of the "Big Business" employers who
made millions from hardworking laborers working for their company. The
performance given by John Malkovich as Bogdanovich Senior as one such
man was also remarkable and did add to the effectiveness of the
One underlining element within the script examines
distance and complicated relationship with one of Chavez's older sons,
Chavez hardly sees during his time spent focusing on organizing and
for the farm workers. This part of the story is a harsh reality of the
sometimes felt from dedicating oneself to something so fully. The
wise to emphasizes in one of the final scenes how Chavez was fighting
for the workers: everything he did was also done for his son and family
was a fight for their futures.
In all areas of the production, Cesar Chavez
to impress. The cinematography by Enrique Chediak (127 Hours, The
Faculty) offers an effective feeling of the dusty sands California
to. The grittiness of the environment is realized within a documentary
everything in this film has an element to it that feels documentarian
photography playing a big role in the dramatic storytelling. The music
Michael Brook effectively blends seamlessly into the film and helps to
this incredible story. There are several important aspects of the
and each seems to complement the others in a convincing and effective
Cesar Chavez is one of the most inspiring
the year and it's a film that should be seen by Americans working in a
of different fields. This film is an important history lesson and as a
everyone could stand to learn by: about the importance of peaceful
fair worker wages, and the power of a collective dream. Chavez was an
inspiration to so many people and this wonderfully orchestrated feature
will inspire audiences with its meaningful story.
Cesar Chavez arrives on Blu-ray with a
MPEG-4 AVC encoded image in 1080p High Definition. The beautifully
cinematography by Enrique Chediak is stellar and receives a good
on this release. The filmic quality inherent in the film's style is
reproduced. There is strong detail and little in the way of
artifacts. Occasional minor softness and minor source related issues
for archival footage are the main drawbacks on this edition. This is
certainly a worthwhile presentation for this quality film.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless surround
sound is quite
strong. Directionality is good and detail is clean and clear for this
the use of surrounds is effective and envelops the story with some
notable added emphasis. Much of the film is dialogue driven, which is
this presentation excels at reproducing quite well.
English SDH and Spanish subtitles are
The Making Of Cesar Chavez Featurette (19
min.) is a
1080p high definition making of piece about the film, which features
and production clips.
Like many biopics,
Cesar Chavez utilized both archival newsreel footage and
of events to great effect. These moments strengthen the storytelling
performances with great skill. Michael Pena is remarkable in the role
Chavez. Performances were notable and skilled from everyone involved.
intelligent biopic dramatizes events in a way that is effective from
Cesar Chavez impresses as an inspirational
powerful motion-picture. It is one of the best films of the entire year
that should be seen by history students, workers, and just about anyone
for a quality dramatized history lesson with an inspirational story
still remarkably relevant to our time.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.