Edward James Olmos
Born on February 24th, 1947
From Los Angeles, California
Based on real events, this film recounts the story of Chico Mendes (Raul Julia), a laborer in the Brazilian Amazon who rebels against his employers. Aware that workers are being exploited, Mendes attempts to unionize his compatriots for better wages and conditions. Since developers aim to cut away vast swaths of the rain forest in order to make the area more accessible for industry, Mendes decides to make a stand for the environment as well. But Mendes' activism makes him a target.
Los Angeles high school teacher Jaime Escalante (Edward James Olmos) is being hassled by tough students like Angel Guzman (Lou Diamond Phillips). But Jaime is also pressured by his bosses, who want him to control his raucous classroom. Caught in the middle, he opts to immerse his students in higher math. After intensive study, his students ace California's calculus test, only to learn that their scores are being questioned. They'll have to retake the exam in order to quiet the critics.