Diego Luna believes that “change is in our hands” and there’s one American hero’s story who will show that.
The Mexican actor turned director’s first English-language feature film “Cesar Chavez: An American Hero” will premiere in February at the Berlin International Film Festival, the movie’s production company said in statement reported by EFE on Saturday.
The biopic will focus on the life and work of Mexican-American civil rights activist Cesar Chavez and will star Michael Peña as Chavez, Rosario Dawson as Dolores Huerta and America Ferrera as Helen Chavez, among others. The script was written by Keir Pearson (“Hotel Rwanda”) and the film will cover ten years of the activist’s life, starting in 1962 when he and Huerta founded the National Farm Workers Association.
"Cesar Chavez represents the largest non-violent protest movement in U.S. history; his goal was to achieve basic human rights for the more than 50,000 farm workers in California," the movie’s production company Canana Films, owned by Luna and Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, said in the Saturday statement according to EFE. "We think the film will send the message that change is in our hands. Chavez did something that everyone thought was impossible with courage that inspired an entire nation."
The biopic will arrive in U.S. theaters on March 28 and in Mexico on May 2. A second trailer of the film, which was filmed in the United States and the northern Mexican state of Sonora, was posted online on Monday.
During an interview promoting “Elysium” last August, Luna spoke to HuffPost Live about the prejudice against the Mexican-American community in the United States and why the story about this renowned Latino icon is a true American story.
“Well what happens is that, well, they [Chavez and other activists] are Americans but it’s a very complicated relation[ship]. It’s such a long, long, long frontier between the Third World and the First World, and that separates them with their story, with so many things I believe are necessary to become someone, to know where you come from...For a long time people in the States were saying ‘you’re telling a story about Mexicans’ and I said ‘no, no, no this is a story about Americans in fact’ and that we Mexicans have a lot to learn from. It talks about this double moral issue that you find a lot in the States, where there are all these people feeding the country, building the country but at the same time [it] is a country that doesn’t want to recognize that, but doesn’t want to get rid of them either, that just wants to keep them in the shadows. And that’s probably why there’s not a film about Cesar Chavez today.”
Take a look at the film’s latest trailer above.