Nick Spagnoli
March 09, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Director Edward James Olmos’ earnest empowerment film Walkout re-creates the little-remembered 1968 demonstrations in five East L.A. high schools. Inspired by a charismatic teacher (Peña), a group of Latino students lead a charge to abolish unfair practices (punishment for speaking Spanish, locked bathrooms during lunch). The most riveting moments come in a coda, which incorporates archival footage of the actual walkouts and affecting interviews with the participants.
EXTRAS Olmos’ commentary with exec producer/protester Moctesuma Esparza adds perspective.

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