Good news for audiences interested in seeing Carl Franklin’s latest feature film – a project we’ve been following since we first discovered it in late 2010, called Bless Me, Ultima, based on Rudolfo Anaya’s award-winning novel of the same name, which chronicles the turbulent coming-of-age story of Antonio, a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II, and his relationship with Ultima, an elderly medicine woman who helps Antonio navigate the dangerous battle raging in his village, and ultimately helps him discover his own spiritual identity.
The film received a limited theatrical release earlier this year, grossing over $1.5 million, which is good for a film and release strategy of its ilk. It reached its target audience, and they supported it.
If you’d like to see what Mr Franklin has been up to in terms of feature filmmaking, and it didn’t play in your neck of the woods, or you just weren’t even aware that it was out, it’ll be released on DVD on September 17.
Miriam Colon stars as Ultima, while Luke Ganalon plays Antonio.
The film was received mostly well by those critics who saw it. “Magical realism” was one description of it.
The book the film is based on was reportedly banned and burned by several groups, and it ranks highly on the American Library Association’s list of banned/challenged books from 2000 to 2009; apparently, many opposed “the profanity and the alternative religious content.“
Although the novel is said to be a reading requirement in high schools across the USA.
The film was shot on location in New Mexico, with a cast and crew made up mostly of New Mexicans.
It’ll be available on home video, both as a rental and purchase.
Here’s a trailer as a refresher: