The “1-4-0″: Great biography film about #CesarChavez. It’s emotional and inspirational, but it comes with gaps that make the film hard to fully appreciate.
The Gist: Directed by Diego Luna, the film tells the story of Cesar Chavez, the Mexican-American farm worker, labor leader, civil rights activist and family man who – through an aggressive, but non-violent approach – fought to secure a living-wage for farm workers back in the 60s and 70s.
The Highlights: The film is very passionate, it’s told from a perspective that will make you angry yet proud. There will be times where you’ll want to cry from seeing the misery portrayed, but clap because of the perseverance of the underdog. Michael Peña does an amazing job portraying the people’s leader and family man, and through him the audience is taken back to a point in American history that needs to be told. This is definitely one of the few Latino films that Latinos can feel proud about and that all audiences should see.
The Lowlights: The film starts at point where the action has already begun. The lack of a background story doesn’t offer the necessary buildup that audiences need to immediately get sucked into the film, not mention that if they are not familiar with Chavez and his movement they’ll feel lost at the beginning. Another lowlight is that the film doesn’t allow for characters like his wife Helen (America Ferrera), Dolores Huerta (Rosario Dawson) and many others to be well recognized simply because the use of their names in not implemented nearly enough.
Pay or Nay: Pay for it. Although the gaps in the story are prominent, this is a story worth watching because it will in the least make you aware of a time in American history worth knowing about, and the people that made it possible. In this day and age, we all need a bit inspiration and this film will do it for you.
Release Date: March 28, 2014
Screenplay: Keir Pearson
Director(s): Diego Luna
Starring: Michael Peña, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, John Malkovich
Film Genre: Biography, Drama