“Bless Me, Ultima,” Funded by Wal-Mart Heiress

wall mart bless meAnother reason why reading the closing credits matters.

Reading the LA Times (online, off course), I discovered the article “‘Bless Me Ultima’s’ Journey to the Big Screen,” by Reed Johnson. Boy, was I ever surprised to learn that a film that I very much enjoyed and that several of my friends loved and thought did the book justice was bankrolled by none other than Christy Walton, the billionaire heiress to the Wal-Mart fortune.

Rudolfo Anaya’s book, “Bless Me, Ultima,” is a Chicano literary classic and a coming of age story which was once banned by school districts because of it’s racy language and witchcraft tendencies (bleh!). Walton read the book as a mother in the late ’80s and was touched by the book’s values in nature, family and community.

Her own son Lukas, was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer at age 3 and after failed chemotherapy, was put on a nature-based diet which saved his life and got rid of his tumor in five months.

She told the LA Times, “We are a fear-based society, I’d like that to change to a faith-based society.”

Most Chicanos I know, hate Wal-Mart. No self-respecting Chicano worth his collection of protest signs would be caught dead inside a Wal-Mart. In fact, movies such as “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Costs” clearly showcase how Wal-Mart hurts communities and people of color.

Yet, here we are. One of the most beautiful and creative films about Latino culture, showcasing Chicano literature… brought to you by Wal-Mart.

I ask… does this change your perception of Wal-Mart? Or does it push you to think more about Latino films in general?

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2 thoughts on ““Bless Me, Ultima,” Funded by Wal-Mart Heiress

  1. Joel Garcia says:

    Fuck WalMart many times over, it’s just a reaffirmation that we need to support our cultural work that much more and commit to doing so, so our artists can create freely and not have to rely on this kind of funding.

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