I read the (once banned) book, written by Rudolfo Anaya, when I was about 19 years old and dreamt of what it would be like to see it on the big screen. I think I remained in the ‘Ultima zone for the next 20 years of my life; taking a deep interest in healing, herbal remedies, and spiritual awakenings. Now, thirty three years later, I actually got to see the film! And, it did not disappoint. Bless Me, Ultima is entirely captivating. I fell in love with the character, Antonio (again), who was played by Luke Ganalon. Although Ganalon was only nine years old when he made the movie, his performance was stunning! Ganalon tackled profound concepts that one might not expect a child of his age to grasp with such intuitive depth: trust, healing, fear, bigotry, the occult, good conquering evil, death, and the spiritual bonds within the temporal and eternal realms. This 9-year-old boy served it up with pure-hearted brilliance.
I recently had the opportunity to interview both Luke Ganalon and Benito Martinez. Martinez plays Antonio’s father, Gabriel. He delivers his strong, proud, and compassionate character like a soulful cello. Below are some highlights of their personal, life altering experiences working on Bless Me, Ultima which also stars the true Grande (not a Diva, simply larger than life), Miriam Colon, who breathes her spirit into the beautiful Shaman, Ultima.
“…the stature of Grapes of Wrath and To Kill a Mockingbird.” – Roger Ebert
Learn more about Bless Me, Ultima and locate your nearest theater where it opens today, February 22, 2013! http://blessmeultima.com/index.html#map.html