There is no doubt that when Diego Luna took the stage to introduce the world premiere of his film "Cesar Chavez" at this year's SXSW, he was honestly moved by the entire experience of getting the film made, and it is obviously important to him. It was an emotional introduction to a film that took him a long time to get made, and I would never begrudge him that genuine sense of accomplishment.
Unfortunately, "Cesar Chavez" has the same problems that plague many biopics, and it is a reminder of just how problematic the genre is as a whole. Just because someone did something that was important doesn't mean their life is suitable for a motion picture. Like many biopics, "Cesar Chavez" offers up a very specific point-of-view on the labor organizer and his accomplishments, and the respect that Luna has for his subject is clear in every moment of the film. The script by Keir Pearson is admirably restrained in many ways, but it is also almost completely devoid of anything that would give the film the feel of actual life. This is a movie full of wax figures, where even their flaws are perfect. Just to show that Chavez wasn't perfect, the film repeatedly returns to his troubled relationship with one of his sons, but it is resolved in such an on-the-nose way that even his problems seem more noble and beautiful than most people's successes.