Mar 24 2014

Diego Luna on His Directorial Debut, Cesar Chavez

The famous grape boycott of the late 60s highlighted the struggles of migrant farm workers in California. Led by intrepid union organizer and non-violent activist Cesar Chavez, and his colleague Dolores Huerta, migrant workers won a major victory for their rights.

Long hours, brutal conditions, and low pay provided the impetus for the great grape boycott, centered in Delano, California. The story of the boycott involves hundreds of miles-long marches, nearly month-long hunger strikes, and police violence, as well as the opposition of Ronald Reagan and the solidarity of Bobby Kennedy.

That story and Cesar Chavez’ central role in it, is depicted in a new biopic feature by acclaimed Mexican actor and first time director, Diego Luna. The film, named simply Cesar Chavez, opens in theaters this Friday. It was screened at the White House last week.

Cesar Chavez is the first film Luna has directed, starring Michael Pena as Chavez, America Ferrara as Chavez’s wife Helen, and Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta.

Cesar Chavez opens in theaters this Friday.

GUEST: Diego Luna, actor and director; Luna has starred in Y Tu Mamá También, Rudo y Cursi, Casa de mi Padre, and most recently Elysium.

Special thanks to Anna Buss and Mark Maxwell for help with this interview.

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