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El Paso Organizes Collective Book Reading

In honor of the upcoming release of the world premiere of the film adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya’s novel Bless Me, Ultima, the city invites the community to collectively read the Chicano literary classic over the course of one month prior to the film’s release in El Paso theaters.

The launch event that will take place Wednesday at the El Paso Main Library atrium located at 501 N. Oregon at 1p.m. Library officials will introduce the program, “El Paso Reads: Bless Me, Ultima.

El Paso Public Library System is working with the group CommUNITY En Accin (CEA)to encourage El Pasoans to get wrapped up in the book during a six week period leading up to the film’s release.

“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, in a news release sent to ABC-7.

The goal is to turn an entire community into a giant book club for a month. The El Paso Reads program offers all participants a collaborative opportunity to foster love for reading.

“Our community is enhanced when more people become lifelong readers, a cause CEA is firmly committed to,” said Dan Olivas, President, CommUNITY en Accin, in the news release. “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,” Olivas added.

The film of the same title is directed by Carl Franklin (“Devil in the Blue Dress”) and 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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