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Cesar's Last Fast

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Richard Ray Perez & Lorena Parlee

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About the Movie

In the summertime of 1988 Cesar Chavez, then 61 years old, embarked on a water-only fast – a personal act of penance for not having done enough to stop growers from spraying toxic pesticides on farm workers. For more than a month no one, including Cesar, knew when he would eat again. Structured around dramatic, never-before-seen footage of Chavez’s “Fast for Life”, 'Cesar’s Last Fast' is the inspiring but overlooked forty year old story of how Chavez organized America’s poorest, least educated workers, built a movement that successfully challenged our nation’s powerful agribusiness, and launched the modern day Latino civil rights campaign in the United States. Motivated by Catholic social teaching, Chavez risked his life in pursuit of economic justice for America’s most vulnerable workforce.'Cesar’s Last Fast' follows Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of America’s farm workers. The documentary shares a first look into Chavez’s 1988 “Fast for Life”, a 36 day water­-only fast, a dramatic act of penance for not having done enough to protect laborers from harmful pesticides that were continuously used in the fields.Director Richard Ray Perez makes sure that, whenever possible, Cesar tells his own story. Culled from hundreds of hours of rarely heard interviews, Cesar’s voice narrates the story and examines his own commitment from his point ­of ­view. Contemporary interviews with people who surrounded Chavez in 1988 include: Dolores Huerta, Martin Sheen, Luis Valdez, Cesar’s brother Richard Chavez, and Cesar’s son, Paul Chavez, among others. These interviews are powerful, highly emotional testimonies to Cesar Chavez’s impact on the Civil Rights movement; and an urgent call to participate in social justice and human rights activism.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 7
  • Fresh: 5
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 5.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: [A] compelling documentary ... – Andy Webster, New York Times, Apr 17, 2014

Fresh: Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee co-direct a solidly inspiring portrait of the late agricultural workers' champion. – Dennis Harvey, Variety, Jan 27, 2014

Rotten: Richard Ray Perez's documentary concerns the myth more than the man. – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, Apr 24, 2014

Fresh: This occasionally stirring doc portrait of the late Latino labor organizer and civil rights icon frames his legacy around a single act of protest. – Aaron Hillis, Village Voice, Apr 16, 2014

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Cesar's Last Fast
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