It’s surprising to think about it, 40 years since it happened, but when Bless Me Ultima was first published it was banned – burned in places. And here we are today, anticipating the premiere of the film adapted from the iconic Rudolfo Anaya novel.
The film is set to premiere next week, on the 22nd, in more than 300 venues across the country.
The story is set in World War II era New Mexico where a boy and a curandera form a relationship that defies rules, ponders tradition and helps the boy navigate the perennial battle between good and evil in his town and within himself. That’s the cover story, because this tale is about much more.
The cast, Luke Ganalon, who plays the boy Antonio, Miriam Colon who plays the curandera, and Benito Martinez who plays Antonio’s father Gabriel, weave a story about family and community that resonates through generations.
I had the opportunity to interview Luke and Benito recently via Skype and I spoke to them about their roles, about the movie, and the novel. My original intent was to edit the conversation into small highlights, but I felt that the interview in it’s entirety was worth a full listen – there’s so much to unpack in what Benito and Luke said.