Network Media

Cesar Chavez

Funded by: Participant Media, Pantelion

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.

The film follows Chávez’s efforts to organize 50,000 farm workers in California, many of whom were braceros—temporary workers from Mexico permitted to live and work in the United States in agriculture, and required to return to Mexico if they stopped working. Working conditions are very poor for the braceros, who also suffer from racism and brutality at the hands of the employers and local Californians. To help the workers, Mexican American César Chávez (Michael Peña) on the growers and forms a labor union known as the United Farm Workers (UFW). Chávez’s efforts are opposed, sometimes violently, by the owners of the large industrial farms where the braceros work. The film touches on several major nonviolent campaigns by the UFW: the Delano grape strike, the Salad Bowl strike, and the 1975 Modesto march. Learn more at the film’s website.