Bless Me, Ultima the Movie. A moving New Mexico narrativeNovember 1st, 2012 at 5:57 pm by michaelnewman under Face of Fox
Last night on a whim, I went and saw the movie Bless Me, Ultima directed by Carl Franklin. Having never read the original book by Rudolfo Anaya, I really had no idea what to expect from the movie. But the experience I had in that theater will last with me for a very long time. As we all know, movies that are made from books are either hit or miss. Meaning they either are mediocre and you end up talking about all the good parts of the book they missed, OR (in my case), move you in such a way that makes you go buy the book the next day and read the whole thing.
I was initially introduced to the movie when we had two of the leading actors in the movie, Benito Martinez and Luke Ganalon, on New Mexico Style. Watch the interview here. I knew that it was going to have beautiful cinematography because it was shot in some of the most stunning places around New Mexico. But what I didnt know was how gripping of a story it was going to tell.
Without giving it all away, the movie is basically about the coming-of-age of Antonio and his relationship with his curandera and protector, Ultima. All the while learning the ways of the world during the 1940′s in New Mexico.
It was such a strong narrative for New Mexican history, showcasing its beauty and culture ; and at the same time it told a gripping story that everyone could relate with. Questioning why there is evil in the world? Why bad things happen to good people? And the struggle of child to understand what truth is… Believing what hes told, or what he feels.
What I loved most about the film is that it brings the audience to a place in time, where life is much simpler, but the life’s issues are just as big. But it brings you back to a way of life, to the people who are connected with this land, to family, and to spirituality.
At the end of the movie, it had my heart and it really reminded me how fortunate we are to live in place where there is so much beauty and history.
Bless Me, Ultima is still playing in theaters. Look here for times in Albuquerque