A Cinephile Production of a Cinephile Film

I just got back from the Chavez premiere...

...and I am way too tired to write a coherent review of this film. But I will, because it was AMAZING and you should all go see it because it's such an important film.

Diego Luna, who makes his debut as a feature film director with this film, was there. I walked up to him, shook hands, and tried not to get too star struck. I get easily star struck (odd for a woman who calls herself a cinephile, amiright?), and when I do, it's difficult to speak. It's even MOAR difficult to speak when I'm star struck and I'm trying to speak to the guy in our native tongue. Whew. It's a good thing he thought I was cute.


I also saw Dolores Huerta there, who, as you'll recall, was one of the leaders, along with Cesar Chavez, of the United Farm Workers when they organized and picketed in the 60's. I met her once before, at a scholarship banquet when I was a wee Cinephile headed off to college. I gave her a hug and told her about me meeting her for the first time at the banquet and she beamed at me. Rosario Dawson plays Huerta in the film, and she was there along with America "Betty" Ferrera, who plays Chavez' wife Helen. Rosario is super tall and America is super teeny and seeing them stand together is amusing.

Watching the film, I realized, and was struck by, how much I just didn't know about Cesar Chavez' work and the UFW's history. I know he was an important figure, I know his date of birth is celebrated as a state holiday here in California, and as the child of Mexican immigrants, I know our community owes a huge debt to the social and political gains made by the UFW. But Chavez' story was never taught to me in school. And I didn't major in Chicano or Latino History in college, so I was never taught it there either. I'm glad I got to watch a part of it unfold, and I'm inspired to seek the rest of it out myself.

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