The movie viewing at the White House on Wednesday was director Diego Luna's biopic on the life of California farmworker leader Cesar Chavez. Michael Peña portrays Chavez and Rosario Dawson plays Dolores Huerta. The film opens March 28.
Before the screening, Obama told Luna that he loved the 2001 Mexican movie the actor had starred in, "Y Tu Mama Tambien." But the president noted, "we can't screen that at the White House." The nudity and sex perhaps?
Obama didn't actually sit and watch the Chavez film at the screening, per Variety's Ted Johnson:
He told a gathering of more than 100 people at a White House screening that he planned to watch it with his wife and daughters away in China.
“It’s very lonely at home, so there’s nothing better than to see an inspiring film,” Obama quipped, per a pool report.
Director Diego Luna, stars Rosario Dawson and America Ferrera and labor leader Dolores Huerta and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi were among those in attendance for the screening at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Also present were United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez. Obama was introduced by Julie Chavez Rodriguez, deputy director of public engagement at the White House and the granddaughter of Cesar Chavez.
The movie was the latest to receive a high-profile screening at the White House, usually reserved for titles that have socially relevant messages or ones that are about important chapters in American history. “Monuments Men” screened last month, and “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” was shown in November.
Miriam Pawel, the former LA Times metro editor whose book, "The Crusades of Cesar Chavez," launches next week at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, recommends instead a series of YouTube videos from the film “¡Huelga!,” made in 1966 by Mark J. Harris. "Sometimes truth is more dramatic than fiction," she blogs. "If you want to watch the best movie made about Cesar Chavez and the farmworker movement, all you need is an internet connection."
Y Tu Mama bonus: Go on the road again with Julio, Tenoch and Luisa.