Here is a translation of a letter from a granddaughter of General Gorostieta, who is portrayed by Andy Garcia in For Greater Glory, to Andy Garica. Go here to read the letter in the original Spanish. Hattip to commenter Rogelio Núñez Ruiz. Translation is by my hard working and deeply appreciated better half Cathy:
[Opening commentary by Fernando Banuelos, Editorial Director of the Cine 3 film news website:]
Letter from Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta to Andy Garcia about Cristiada [AKA For Greater Glory ]
This is an emotive letter sent by Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta, granddaughter of General Gorostieta, to Andy Garcia for his role in Cristiada. Although I’m not a fan of Mexican films, especially Mexican history films in another language and with non-Mexican actors, I believe that this film falls in the “top-priority must-see” category of films, just to see what they say about us, and to see how faithful this adaptation is to what history tells us.
[Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta’s letter follows:]
I saw the film last week, and I enjoyed the character of my grandfather, even though I don’t share the legend that he was an unbeliever and converted in the Movement; it seems to me that [portraying him that way] brings him to people in a better way than if they had portrayed him as being too religious.
I congratulate you for having accepted the role on behalf of my mother, who unfortunately died 4 days before they finished filming it; she was happy that it would be you who would interpret it. His death scene is lovely and, as the Bible says, the applause that counts is in Heaven, and the whole family is there, so that the Glory of the Cristeros is now that they’re with God.
I don’t know if you read the letters which we sent to you through the Director, but I believe that my grandfather had the arrogance with which you characterized him, and the tenderness he showed his people. He had a great love for his family:
[Quoting a letter from General Gorostieta to his family:]
“For my little children, who I can’t give a kiss to, who I can’t buy a ball for, who I can’t, as I did so often, let sleep in my arms, on such a great date for the world, on a day in which even wild beasts become tender with Glory!, by your conduct I send them this gift: all the privations which they suffer, all the sorrows which you and I suffer, are only obedient to one end – leaving them a road, marking for them a route. I know well that there are smoother roads in the world, and God well knows that I know how to walk them. But those aren’t the ones that I will leave marked for them. It’s the same bitter, gloomy road that their grandfather marked for me, the only one that exists, if one is to be forever content to have finished it and able to give an account of the journey. The only one which, having been walked, imparts true peace. I give them as a gift, the privations and the sorrows which the road is giving me. Give them many kisses, and never rest from preventing – I don’t say now, but [even] within many years – that they should lose their faith on such a road.”
I will tell you that I cried in the first scene in which, when talking to Eva Longoria, he says to her, “Tula, Tula, Tulita!” At the moment in which he called out to my good grandmother like that, what can I say? It took me back to my days with her, and I imagined my grandfather speaking to her in that way.
They’ve spoken badly about him for years. I’m a believer and a practicing, God-loving [Christian] and besides, as a lawyer I have a strong belief in human rights and freedoms. I have always been proud of him, but not all the family members gave him the credit which he deserves. I have read the interviews which you have given, and I am infinitely thankful to you that you talk of him as you have done, and the greatest gift you gave to my grandfather is, as he said in his last letter to my grandmother Tulita:
“You, it stands to reason, will outlive me, and remember what I tell you now: by my effort, whatever the practical result of this struggle may be, I have achieved a true name for our children.”
The film for you is just another film, but for our family, it made us proud to call ourselves Gorostietas; it gives us a place that history could never take away from us.
We are very, very thankful that you’ve accepted the role; we wish you all the best, and I’ll tell you that my prayers will always go with you, so that your children and grandchildren might be as proud of you as I am of my grandfather for sharing his blood.
In the love of Christ,
Maria Teresa Perez Gorostieta