Clean drinking water and toilets in the field, a minimum wage and safety standards on the farm -- those are some of the rights farm workers across the nation have, thanks to Chavez.
Actor Michael Pena is cast as Chavez and Rosario Dawson plays United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta.
Huerta, who was at Chavez's side then, says workers in California gained unemployment insurance, the right to organize and workers compensation but much of the nation has none of those.
"They still do not have these laws in New York state, or in the rest of the country, Texas and all those other places, so what we fought for here for farm workers, we got the bare minimum, you know," she says.
Huerta says she cried throughout the movie when she saw it the first time.
She says it's an important film for the Latino community to see.
"The Latino experience, the Latino history is not really shows on the big film that much, and that message of involvement, of commitment, sacrifice, showing through Cesar's life," she says. "I mean it really shows it took all of us to come together to make the changes that needed to be made."
Chavez' birthday is observed as a state holiday Monday in California, Colorado and Texas.