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Alebrije Has ‘A Beautiful Secret’

15 Oct, 2010 By: Angelique Flores

Before her death in 2002, celebrated Mexican star Katy Jurado wrapped up filming the drama Un Secreto de Esperanza (A Beautiful Secret). She passed away while the film was in post-production, before she could even see it.

Alebrije Home Entertainment has just released the drama on DVD for the first time, priced at $14.98.

The film tells the story of a reclusive elderly woman, Esperanza (Jurado), who develops a friendship with 12-year-old Jorge (Imanol). Both are rebellious and incorrigible. Jorge appreciates her wisdom, life experiences and the way she talks to him so honestly like an equal. Esperanza is drawn to his youth and his defiance against societal norms.

Jurado, at age 78, illuminates the screen in Un Secreto de Esperanza as much as she ever did. Her career began during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema and has worked with the likes of directors Luis Buñuel and Sam Peckinpah, as well as actors Pedro Infante, Gary Cooper, Spencer Tracy, Marlon Brando and Anthony Quinn. Jurado was the first Mexican actress to be nominated for an Academy Award, when she received the recognition in 1955 for her supporting actress role in Broken Lance. (The only other Mexican actresses to have been nominated by the Academy since are Salma Hayek as Best Actress in 2003 for Frida and Adriana Barraza as Best Supporting Actress in 2006 for Babel.)

The veteran actress also won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in 1953 for High Noon, as well as numerous Ariel awards in Mexico.

According to producer Moy Jafif, the way the film pays tribute to the character of the renowned writer Esperanza, so it does to the actress Jurado. One scene even features a montage of footage of a younger Jurado.

“She also worked with the writer on her character,” Jafif said. “I think he had a lot of help from her insight.”

The film also stars rising Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera (Nacho Libre, Paraiso Travel) in one of her first feature films.

“We didn’t have an idea she [would be as popular as she is now],” Jafif said. “But she was always very talented. We knew that when we hired her.”

Un Secreto de Esperanza premiered in 2002 at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and was released theatrically in Mexico in 2005, to industry acclaim. This year it aired on the cable channel CineLatino.

“I think this film has a lot of potential on DVD,” Jafif said. “I know that it will bring a lot of interest in the market.”

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