6.4/10
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Bless Me, Ultima (2012)

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A drama set in New Mexico during WWII, centered on the relationship between a young man and an elderly medicine woman who helps him contend with the battle between good and evil that rages in his village.

Director:

Carl Franklin

Writers:

Rudolfo Anaya (based on the novel by), Carl Franklin (written for the screen by)
3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luke Ganalon ... Antonio
Miriam Colon ... Ultima
Benito Martinez ... Gabriel
Dolores Heredia ... Maria
Castulo Guerra ... Tenorio
Joaquín Cosio ... Narciso
Manuel Garcia-Rulfo ... Uncle Pedro
Reko Moreno ... Uncle Lucas
Luis Bordonada ... Uncle Juan
Joseph Garcia ... Uncle Mateo (as Joseph A. Garcia)
James Victor ... Antonio's Grandfather
Raúl Castillo ... Andrew
Miguel Gomez ... Eugene (as Miguel Gómez)
Alex Cacho ... Leon (as Alejandro Cabrera)
Diego Miró ... Florence (as Diego Miró-Rivera)
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Storyline

A drama set in New Mexico during WWII, centered on the relationship between a young man and an elderly medicine woman who helps him contend with the battle between good and evil that rages in his village.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence and sexual references. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

17 September 2012 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Abençoe-me Ultima: A Feiticeira See more »

Filming Locations:

Abiquiu, New Mexico, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$470,109, 24 February 2013

Gross USA:

$1,561,962

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,561,962
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Manuel J. Baca Vaquero #2 became such a fan of the novel that he was always on the look out for the opportunity to see it become a play or film. As luck would have it Baca was cast in a New Mexico wide touring production of Bless Me Ultima performing the character Prudencio Luna (Tony's Grandfather) this part was the combined with the part of Uncle Pedro for the purposes of the play. Baca also played the part of the overbearing Father Byrne complete with Irish dialect, in the traveling production. This all took place as Baca was gearing up to shoot his scene in the film. See more »

Quotes

Ultima: But where there is no penance, there can be no forgiveness.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Mal Hombre
(uncredited)
Written by Lydia Medoza
Performed by 'Lydia Mendoza'
Published by San Antonio Music Publishers, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Great scenery; somewhat disappointing
28 October 2013 | by keyes_fredSee all my reviews

Having grown up in an environment similar to that which author Anaya describes and the movie attempts to portray, I was both elated and disappointed by the movie. Home base for me was the northern Rio Grande Valley, not the eastern N.M. *llanos* of Anaya's boyhood. I was about 7 years younger than 'tonio in the movie, so my experiences date from about 1951 forward. Things were still quite similar in N.M. back then to the earlier era that Anaya wrote about.

Of all the actors in the movie, the only one who came close to capturing a NM accent and cadence was 'tonio's father. All the others performed well, but to me they did not come across like born and bred New Mexicans. Actors pick up local accents and manners of speech all the time, but nearly all of the Hispanic actors in "Ultima" failed. It's like casting a native Baltimorean as a native of Maine--it stretches credibility. Both speak the language, but anyone from the northeast U.S. would hear the disconnect immediately.

"Bless Me Ultima" is a great story. Similar to Anaya'a family, we moved to Barelas in Albuquerque when I was in 7th grade. We rural New Mexicans of that era have all heard the *bruja* stories and are familiar with *curandera* practices. Ultimately those accounts were stories--told on late evenings when imaginations ran wild. Certainly the three sister witches in the movie added a sense of the spookiness and otherworldliness with which we all grew up, but that conceit only tangentially "gives readers a sense of the influence of indigenous cultural ways that are both authentic and distinct from the mainstream" as the book's entry in Wikipedia says.


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