Groups Push for Joint Reading Effort Honoring 'Bless Me, Ultima'

Film Release Planned for Sept. 21

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - 12:01pm

EL PASO — The El Paso community is invited to collectively read Rudolfo Anaya's novel 'Bless Me, Ultima' in anticipation of the fil adaptation release happening on Friday, Sept. 21.

The event, organized by the El Paso Public Library System and CommUNITY En Acción (CEA), will take place Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the El Paso Main Library atrium on 501 N. Oregon. Organizers will launch the 'El Paso Reads: Bless Me, Ultima' six-week reading period leading to the film's release.

"We'd like to encourage everyone in the community to read together Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya. We think the story will appeal to everyone especially those who love and are excited to learn more about the southwest and its culture," said Dionne Mack, Director of Libraries for the City of El Paso.

Organizers said their goal was to turn an entire community-a school, a city, a state-into a giant book club for a month. The El Paso Reads program offers all participants a collaborative opportunity to foster a love for, and an excitement about reading.

"Our community is enhanced when more people become lifelong readers, a cause CEA is firmly committed to. If you are an avid reader you are more likely to be involved in the community, be a volunteer and participate in the arts! CEA is the proud sponsor of this effort," said Dan Olivas, President, CommUNITY en Acción.

About the Film BLESS ME, ULTIMA
Directed by Carl Franklin ("Devil in the Blue Dress") and based on the controversial novel by acclaimed author Rudolfo Anaya, BLESS ME, ULTIMA is a turbulent coming-of-age story about Antonio Marez (Luke Ganalon), a young boy growing up in New Mexico during World War II. When a mysterious curandera 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 the strict Catholic doctrine that he has been taught by his parents (Dolores Heredia & Benito Martinez). Through a series of mysterious and at times terrifying events Antonio must grapple with questions about his own destiny, the relationship between good vs. evil and ultimately how to reconcile Ultima's powers with those of the God of his church. BLESS ME, ULTIMA will be released in select theaters in El Paso on September 21, 2012.

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