Movie 8min

A Mexican Legend (1910)

A beautiful drama of this superstitious country. A story of how the old Father with the aid of the Mexican cowboys was able to save the monastery from the Indians.
Not rated.

Countries Mexico United States
Language English
(Country Spesific) Légende mexicaine
(France, 1911) Pathé Frères
Black and White Convent Death Drama Jesus Christ Legend Miracles Monk Native American Short Silent Film Vision Western

It is noon at the old monastery of Vejas, which is situated in the heart of the wild country in northern Mexico and twelve miles from any habitation. The monks are returning from their labors in the garden to chapel. A band of Indians creeps up through the long pampas grass, and as the monks come out from prayer, fall upon them and capture them. The aged Father Ignatius is dragged to the burial place and the heavy stone of a vault having been removed, is dropped inside, the stone lid being replaced. The others are imprisoned in the chapel while the Indians sack the monastery and make merry with the Fathers' well-stocked cellar. The aged Father prays before a painting of the Christ that is in the vault, and the figure comes to life, and leads him out of his living tomb. Father Ignatius sees the marauders dancing and debauching and plods on his weary way to obtain assistance. He has to cross a river, and Christ appears and directs him to a floating island on which he is quickly borne to the other side. Weary and weak, he endeavors to climb the mountain path, but his strength gives out and he falls exhausted. Again Christ appears, takes him by the hand and leads him over the mountain. Finally he reaches his destination, a hacienda. He tells his story and the Mexican boys are soon in their saddles and on their way to the monastery. They swim the lake on horseback, and arriving at the monastery it is but the work of a few minutes to put the Indians to rout and release the imprisoned monks. Reverently they all turn and fall on their knees and give thanks to Him who gave the holy Father strength to obtain the help that was so badly needed.

Source: Moving Picture World

Attacked by Indians, monks are taken prisoner, and their superior is buried alive. But deep in his tomb, a miracle is happening. Christ, detaching himself from a frame in which his image appears, raises the heavy stone of the sepulcher and frees his servant: “Go, he says to him, and help your brother prisoners”. The old man walks painfully through the rocks, supported by his faith and his will. But he ended up succumbing to fatigue and deprivation. Jesus, then, appears to him again and guides him to the dwelling of a herdsman who will help him to continue and carry out his mission.

Source: Pathe Freres - Translated

The Mexican legend is founded upon a story of a colony of monks which was attacked by Indians, the abbe being brutally mistreated and cast alive into a stone tomb while the rest of the monks are held for torture. The tomb in which the abbe was cast chanced to be an entrance to a underground shrine where a figure of Christ had been painted in a niche cut in the living rock. The legend has it that this figure came to life and lead the abbe to a distant ranch house where aid was secured and the Indians are properly punished. The picture closes with a beautiful transformation scene of religious significance. The art of the picture maker is in evidence throughout this subject.

Source: The Film Index, November 5, 1910

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