Cesar’s Last Fast

2014 | Documentary | 100 minutes | English


The documentary dives deeply into the personal life, vision, and legacy of Cesar Chavez, focusing on his 1988 thirty-six day fast known as the “Fast for Life.” Chavez was determined to draw attention to how the spraying of crops with pesticides was causing serious illnesses with farm workers, their families, and entire communities. Directors Richard Ray Perez  and Lorena Parlee found never before seen footage of Chavez and his indomitable fight to safeguard the health of the field workers. Chavez’s worldwide image was of a humble, deeply religious man who fought vigorously while shirking threats from  large farm owners.  But, still, he never thought he did enough although his achievements are impressive:  He led striking grape workers on a protest march from Delano to Sacramento; raised workers’ wages; and pushed through the enactment of the California Agricultural Relations Act in 1975.


Major Participants: Cesar Chavez

Why Stream This Film?
Don’t let some negative reviews deter you from seeing this documentary. Perez and Parlee display the human side of this larger-than-life union leader who offered his life to the service of his people.
  • Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 71%
  • Metacritic Score: 57
  • Sundance Film Festival: Nominated, Grand Jury Prize, Best Documentary

Now streaming on:

Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee co-direct a solidly inspiring portrait of the late agricultural workers’ champion.
Dennis Harvey


Chavez, a founder of what became the United Farm Workers union, faced brutal odds, as this compelling documentary demonstrates.
Andy Webster

The New York Times

An adoring and inspirational portrait of one man’s expression of sacrifice in action.
Kiko Martinez

San Antonio Current

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