A story of a priest set in the 16th century Mexico who converted the local pagan population to Christianity by making a statue of Virgin Mary resembling a native woman.




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Credited cast:
Julian Abitia
Ángel Aragon
Lucila Balzaretti
Raúl Boxer
Roberto Brondo
Hector Campos
Carlos Chavez
Luis Couturier
Armando Duarte
Alfredo Dávila
Fernando Ferrer
Guillermo Gil
Enrique Gilabert
Salvador Godínez


A highly controversial portrayal of the events associated with accounts of apparitions of Virgin Mary in Mexico who appeared in Tepeyac, Mexico in 1531 and the story behind the making of the venerated image of the Madonna of Tepeyac. According to the interpretation of the events by the authors of the film, the local pagans, after conversion to Christianity, continued to worship their idols. Friar Pedro, having found statues of idols in the church, devises a plan to "truly" convert the locals. He ordered a brown-skinned statue of the Virgin to be made and when the statue is brought into a church he interprets this as an apparition and a sign for the locals to convert to Christianity. The film was banned by the Mexican government for 20 years as it was viewed by the wide Mexican population as a highly liberal and profane depiction of the accounts of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Written by Vadim P

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Drama | History






Release Date:

10 August 1978 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Die Herren der neuen Welt  »

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Referenced in Bienvenido-Welcome (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

good and controversial for many
28 June 2008 | by (Poland) – See all my reviews

It is a film which has been banned from viewing for many years, due to its controversial and unorthodox presentation of the early history of the catholic and Spanish rule over what is now Mexico. It presents how the catholic monks and priests were utterly frustrated in the late 16th century in their attempts to convert the local people. The local folk only prayed to statues of Madonna and Jesus if they had little statues of pagan deities placed below them or if it was allowed to consider Jesus and Mary as simply one more deity. So a priest came up with a plan to paint a madonna which looked like one of the locals and then have local persons go around and claim they witnessed a "miracle" that was a vision of that Madonna. The priest wanted the local population to come to accept a Christian Mary as one of their own and thus crack the pagan hold. He succeeded and had the locals involved in the plot murdered. He is later on murdered himself by the Church, as he was too dangerous for them now. The similarity to the Guadalupe "miracle" in Mexico is blatant and it was the reason the film was shelved for a long time. Apart from this story, the film portrays catholics and Spanish as mean, cruel and cynical and has one of the local characters ask "Why should the local people be afraid of your hell if they are already in one, enslaved, tortured and raped?"

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