Rudolfo Anaya’s ‘Bless Me, Ultima’ comes to Flagstaff

Bless Me UltimaFLAGSTAFF — “Bless Me, Ultima,” a film by Carl Franklin based on the novel by Rudolfo Anaya, opened Friday, March 15 at Harkins Flagstaff 11, 1959 So. Woodlands Village Blvd., Flagstaff.

Showtimes are 9:50 a.m., 12:40, 3:20, 5:20 and 7:40 p.m.

Based on the controversial, first award-winning Chicano novel by acclaimed author Rudolfo Anaya, “Bless Me, Ultima” is a turbulent coming-of-age story about a young boy, Antonio (Luke Ganalon), growing up in New Mexico during World War II, Arenas Entertainment reported in a media release. Arenas is distributing and marketing the film.

When a mysterious curandera (healer) named Ultima (Miriam Colon) comes to live with his family, she teaches him about the power of the spiritual world. As their relationship grows, Antonio begins to question his strict upbringing by his parents (Dolores Heredia & Benito Martinez). Through a series of mysterious and at times terrifying events, Antonio must grapple with questions about the nature of divinity and his own destiny.

As Ultima teaches Antonio about the spiritual world, Antonio begins to question the strict Catholic doctrine he has learned from his parents. A series of mysterious events forces Antonio to face difficult questions about good and evil, destiny and how to reconcile Ultima’s abilities with the Catholic church’s teachings.

“We firmly believe that this wonderful movie, which is based on a book that is celebrated in the American Southwest, can be embraced by the entire country,” producer Mark Johnson, stated in the media release. “The story of ‘Bless Me, Ultima’ speaks to all of us.”

“I kept and read the book by Rudolfo Anaya for over 25 years, always thinking that it should be shared in film. Now, I am proud to say that it is a wonderful movie as well as a wonderful book,” stated Christy Walton, the film’s executive producer.

” ‘Bless Me, Ultima’ is a truly special book that has engaged readers for decades with its universal, yet highly personal coming-of-age story,” Sarah DiLeo, the film’s producer, stated in the release, “We are honored to be a part of bringing this beloved story to the screen and sharing these richly drawn characters and unique culture with an even wider audience.”