Be on the lookout for the newly-released film, “Cesar Chavez: an American Hero”, directed by Mexican-Born Diego Luna, and starring Michael Peña, as Cesar Chavez, opening on Friday, March 28, the weekend of Chavez’ birthday. For many of us in Stockton and the Central Valley, this film is “personal”, as some of us saw him in person, worked with him, and even marched with him during the 1970s. I attended several events here in Stockton in which he was present, and myself and other local musicians were invited to play and sing Huelga songs, and I heard the man speak at UOP. My compadre, Flavio Gonzalez, (R.I.P.) and I once marched with Cesar, playing our guitars and singing songs as he led a march from Highway 99, near Lodi on Harney Lane, to a migrant camp a couple of miles down the road.
My wife and I and our son, Miguel were present at the massive march held in Modesto, my home town, in the early 70s when Cesar marched on Gallo Winery and an estimated 10,000 people from all over the state turned out to support the cause. After, we gathered at Graceda Park in Modesto, and Joan Baez sang and El Teatro Campesino performed.
The Chicano Drama class at Delta College, which I directed during the mid-80s once performed a skit for Cesar at a rally held at the Portuguese Hall in Manteca (oh, but we made him laugh that night!). But Cesar’s struggle for the rights of farm workers went far beyond California, and became national, and even international. So I’d say it’s about time… it’s about danged time….
Watch the trailer :youtube.com/watch?v=CtDUTt8ggeA
Read about the director:www.imdb.com/name/nm0526019/bio
Read about Michael Peña:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0671567/