'Cesar Chavez' film debuts at Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix

PHOENIX - The national film premiere of “Cesar Chavez” took place at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix Thursday.

The movie’s director Diego Luna said it was the ideal choice since the late Chavez was born and died in Arizona and the state is at the center of many issues facing the Latin community.

“Arizona is a perfect place to talk about this because our community has a big struggle here and we need the support of everyone in the country,” Luna said.

Chavez also famously went on a long hunger strike in Phoenix.

The film chronicles the life and struggles of Chavez to unite farm workers for better treatment and pay from large farming companies.

One of Cesar’s sons, Paul Chavez, now serves as the president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

He said art imitating life was sometimes too close for comfort. "There are probably four or five scenes that I get chills and I’m just saying like 'oh, I remember that,'" Chavez recalled.

The film stars actor Michael Pena in the title role. It also stars America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich.

The movie opens nationwide March 28.


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