Cesar's Last Fast
U.S. Documentary


English and Spanish with English subtitles, 2013, 100 minutes, color & b/w, U.S.A.

In 1988, Cesar Chavez embarked on what would be his last act of protest in his remarkable life. Driven in part to pay penance for feeling he had not done enough, Chavez began his “Fast for Life,” a 36-day water-only hunger strike, to draw attention to the horrific effects of unfettered pesticide use on farm workers, their families, and their communities.

Using never-before-seen footage of Chavez during his fast and testimony from those closest to him, directors Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee weave together the larger story of Chavez’s life, vision, and legacy. A deeply religious man, Chavez’s moral clarity in organizing and standing with farmworkers at risk of his own life humbled his family, friends, and the world. Cesar’s Last Fast is a moving and definitive portrait of the leader of a people who became an American icon of struggle and freedom.

Directors: Richard Ray Perez, Lorena Parlee

Executive Producers: Lyn Lear, Molly O'Brien, Richard Ray Perez

Producers: Richard Ray Perez, Molly O'Brien, Lorena Parlee

Editors: Jean-Philippe Boucicaut, Lewis Erskine, Christopher S. Johnson, Carla Gutierrez

Cinematographers: James Chressanthis, Byron Shah, Stephen McCarthy, Jonathan Schell, Jon Dunham

Composer: Ed Barguiarena

Principal Cast: Array

About the Directors

Richard Ray Perez is personally connected to the issues in Cesar’s Last Fast. For 22 years, Perez’s father was a farm worker who worked under the conditions Cesar Chavez fought to end. At five years old, Perez joined the historic grape boycotting organized by the United Farm Workers. In addition to his work onCesar’s Last Fast, Perez is a senior staffer in the Documentary Film Program at Sundance Institute.

Lorena Parlee began working on the film that became Cesar’s Last Fast in 1986 when she volunteered with the United Farm Workers. When Cesar Chavez undertook his water-only fast, Parlee was his press secretary and spokesperson. During this fast, she collected some of the most intimate and powerful footage ever shot of Cesar. Lorena Parlee died on August 18, 2006, after an extended battle with breast cancer. She was 60.


1/19/2014 3:00 pm
Temple Theatre, Park City
1/20/2014 8:30 am
Egyptian Theatre, Park City
1/22/2014 3:00 pm
Sundance Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort
1/23/2014 8:30 pm
The MARC, Park City
1/24/2014 12:30 pm
Redstone Cinema 1, Park City
1/25/2014 3:00 pm
Tower Theatre, SLC