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Cesar Chavez Movie Premieres at SXSW
Updated: Monday, June 2 2014, 10:18 PM CDT
A first at South by Southwest. A Latino hero is now getting marquee status at the film festival. Many in Austin's Hispanic community think it's about time.
His name is plastered on street signs. His image is sculpted into our landscape. But, until now farm labor leader Cesar Chavez has never been the focus of a feature film.
Actress Rosario Dawson is at SXSW for the premiere of the movie, Cesar Chavez. It exposes audiences to the struggles of the civil rights activist.
"This is part of our American history. We should all know this," said Dawson.
During SXSW I talked with three of the actors who star in the film.
"The story is super relevant to today," said America Ferrera who plays the wife of Cesar Chavez.
Ironically, Michael Pena, who plays Cesar Chavez, grew up knowing little about the Mexican-American activist.
"I don't think I remember reading about it in history class," said Pena.
"Not a lot of people know details about how he achieved what he achieved," said Ferrera.
A fact that's troubling to Susana Almanza, co-director of PODER or People Organized in the Defense of Earth and Her Resources.
"This movie was long overdue," said Almanza.
She's an activist herself and is hoping the power of film will educate America about the Latino hero.
"The struggle that Cesar Chavez had to go through to make sure there were living wages for the people, decent housing, education for the kids," said Almanza.
It's a story the Hispanic community is embracing.
"He's definitely a hero of mine," said Almanza.
She hopes the film Cesar Chavez will open the world's eyes to the man. Cesar Chavez opens in Austin and nationwide at the end of this month.