Bless Me, Ultima is an adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel about the meztizo experience. It is about Antonio Marez a young Mexican-American boy and the enigmatic Ultima a healer who opens his eyes to the wonders of the spiritual realm. The movie is set in New Mexico in the early 1940’s.
Antonio Marez grapples with the harsh realities all around him during World War II. When Ultima arrived, it changed forever the life of Antonio. Ultima is his grandmother who has supernatural healing powers which the locals gossiped of being a witch. She came to Antonio’s family to live with them. But Ultima clashes with a villager, Tenorio, and his trio of daughters, who dabble in black magic. Tenorio’s nasty vengeance imperiled Antonio.
As Ultima inspires Antonio to question authority and see the world from a new perspective, the young boy witnesses a series of seemingly impossible events that have a profound impact on his concepts of divinity and fate.
The film tackles the issues of religion, the immigrant experience in America and poverty. The treatment of Ultima by the villagers and the attitude of Antonio’s classmate’s attitudes toward him, the movie showed how a community can undermine its own citizenry through idle gossip.
The movie is a very good adaptation of the novel and acting is outstanding. It is a very good movie with historical and cultural depiction of Mexican immigrants. Written and directed by Carl Franklin and stars Miriam Colon as Ultima and Luke Ganalon as Antonio.