Eréndira la indomable (2006)




Director:     Juan Mora Catlett.

Starring:     Carlos Enrique Alarcón (Ruy Flores), Édgar Alejandre, Erandini Catalina Alvarado Villegas (Tangaxoan woman), Rubén Bautista (Tangaxoan), Teresa de la Luz Chavira Leal (Tangaxoan woman), Luís Copérnico (Gonzalo de Vargas), Noel Cordero (Young Warrior), José Flores Martínez (Vigía), Daniela Fuentes Marín (Tangaxoan woman), Alberto García (Domingo Niño), Sergio González Pérez (Fray Juan Tapia), Yuritzi Gómez Ramírez (Tangaxoan woman), Luís Esteban Huacúz Dímas (T'shue), Adelaida Huerta (Tía de Eréndira), Ismael Marcelino (Andamuqua).

a young woman fights Spanish Conquistadors to protect her people



Spoiler Warning:


"They had told us of the warriors that came from the sky destroying all who dared oppose them.  Only one did not fear them.  A young girl, barely a woman.  Her name was Eréndira."

Lord Tangaxoan asks Nanuma if he's getting married today?  Yes, he is.  His brother Tsihue watches over his bride. 

The bride to be, Eréndira, says to her aunt that she doesn't want to get married.  And, anyway, where is Nanuma? 

Lord Tangaxoan tells his uncle, Lord Timas, that he arrives late.  An old woman covered with white ashes tells the fathers that she's hungry.  (brief nudity)  So they bring a man over to a large bowl and knick his throat to let the blood flow into the bowl.  The woman says that a white eagle, who was their ancient god Cur-Cahueri, came and spoke to her.  The woman drinks the blood.  The eagle told the woman to climb upon its wings.  The eagle takes her for a ride to a high mountain.  There she saw the assembly of the ancient gods. 

The old woman says all the gods were there.  The mother goddess told the ancient gods to prepare to suffer for new gods are coming and they'll conquer the world.  All the old gods will be destroyed.  Lord Tangaxoan will have his head severed from his body.  The old woman goes up to Lord Tangaxoan and starts to strangle him.  Nanuma cuts off the woman's head. 

Eréndira gets up and says she's going to fetch Nanuma.  Her aunt tries to stop her and when Eréndira pulls away from her she knocks over and breaks a statue of one of the gods.  The aunt says that's an ill omen for the start of the wedding. 

A man has a vision of the new gods that are white-faced and ride about on beasts never seen before.  They have weapons that roar like thunder and can cut a body into pieces. Lord Tangaxoan says:   "The intruders have killed the Aztecs and all our enemies, and now they come against us!"  It's been many days since he sent Lord Cuynierangari to fight them off, but there has been no word from the man.  Lord Tangaxoan suggests that they drink pulque and be merry.  [Pulque is a Mexican alcoholic drink made by fermenting sap from the maguey plant.   Maguey is from various agave plants, such as the century plant.]  Uncle Timas tells Tangaxoan that ancient rituals must be followed. 

They go down to the lagoon.  Tangaxoan is rowed in a boat out on the lake.  His uncle is in another boat rowed by his oarsman. 

Aunt tells Eréndira that Lord Tangaxoan went to drown himself in the lagoon.  And now they are abandoning the village.  The new gods are coming.  Auntie tells Eréndira to come with her, but she won't move from her spot on a large mat.  She tells the girl that Nanuma isn't coming.  Tsihue says that it's his duty to stay with Eréndira.

Uncle tells Tangaxoan that it's time for him to jump into the lagoon.  The nephew is saved by the arrival of Cuynierangari, back from fighting the new gods.  Cuynierangari says that he brings good tidings for the strangers come in peace.  They only want gold and food.  Cuynierangari holds up a Christian cross around his neck and says that the ancient gods sent the strangers to kill the Aztecs and all the others. So it's best that they join with the strangers. 

The new gods arrive.  The white men come.  The tribe brings out gold and silver, but the Spanish say that the natives have a lot more gold and silver, and they want it.  The Spanish look for their gold and silver and do find more.  The women descend on the Spanish with sticks and beat the Spanish out of the storage area.  The native males now stop the women from further pursuit of the Spanish.  The women are told that the gold belongs to the Spanish.  Auntie says that the men are not warriors because they won't fight for what belongs to the people.  Eréndira laughs along with the women and Nunuma wants to know why Eréndira is even here?  Nunuma still in her body paint for the wedding steps up to Nunuma and says that Nunuma was too late in coming.  She rubs some paint off her body and rubs it onto Nunuma's body.  She then turns and walks away from Nunuma, who suddenly grabs her and pushes her around and onto the ground.  Nunuma then starts walking away.  Eréndira shouts out his name; he turns; Eréndira hits him with a stone thrown at his head; and the man falls down.   He tries to get at Nunuma, but the women block his way. 

Then a shout goes out that the strangers are abducting Lord Tangaxoan.  The natives catch up with the Spanish.  Tangaxoan asks Cuynierangari not to let his uncle kill him.  He says that the new gods and the Spanish now own the land and it's better if each native dies alone, rather then in battle. 

A group of the natives tell Timas that they want to fight against the new gods and the Spanish.  Eréndira also wants to fight.  Timas says it's true that women have fought, but as a woman Eréndira must stay in her place.  Eréndira is filled with happiness at the idea of fighting the enemy. 

The people go to their sacred temples and bring their weapons.  Some men throw stones at Eréndira because they don't want her with them.  She picks up a stone to throw at those who were throwing stones at her, but auntie grabs her and tells her to stay with the women. 

"And the strangers gave us back our great Lord."  Tangaxoan says he has made an alliance with the strangers.  And now Tangaxoan wants to kill Uncle Timas.  He gives Cuynierangari an order to take men and kill those who plotted to kill him. 

Tsihue tells the women to get back to the fortress on orders from Timas, who says that Lord Tangaxoan has sent warriors against them.  Eréndira stays behind.  Tsihue sits by her for awhile.  They start moving but don't go far.  Tsihue seems like he wants to kiss Eréndira.  At first she slaps him away, but when he stops trying, she takes his hand.  They walk down to the lagoon.  She tells Tsihue that when her family died in the lagoon, Lord Tangaxoan ordered that Eréndira become the wife of Nunuma.  Now everything has changed and she has decided not to marry at all. 

Eréndira asks her uncle for permission to go up into the mountains and be a lookout for the enemy.   Timas tells her to go do her chores.  Eréndira ignores Timas and follows three men going up into the mountains.  Tsihue goes with her.  One of the men chases Eréndira away.  She has food with her and stays in the forest for the night.  She is awakened by the sound of a horse  --  a sound that is strange to Eréndira.  She walks toward the sound and finds a strange animal there.  She goes over to the animal, but now she is jumped on by a Spaniard.  He takes her away.  Three males see this but only Tsihue wants to come to her aide.

Uncle Timas balls the three men out.  He asks who told them they could just let Eréndira be eradicated?  He scares the three away when he picks up his bow and arrow. 

One day Eréndira comes walking to the village as if nothing happened.  She speaks with Lord Timas.  She tells him that they told her to go back to Timas and tell him that they are coming for him.  Also tell Nunuma.  Timas says then let them come. 

Two lords comes to speak with Timas.  They tell him that Lord Tangaxoan has sentenced Timas to death.  Timas says they will not kill him.  The two lords leave.

The Indian allies now ask Friar Tapia to lead them into battle.  Friar Tapia is not too happy about that, and Gonzalo de Vargas and Domingo Nino laugh at the friar's anxiety. 

Timas and his men wait at their two temples for the onslaught of the allies.  His men fire a lot of arrows into the sky and the allies start running away.  Then Timas' men attack the allies.  Eréndira, hidden amidst the rocks, watches the civil war battle taking place.  She watches as now the Spaniards attack. 

Eréndira grabs a mallet to do battle against the Spaniards but she retreats when a man on horseback comes after her.  Her Uncle Timas grabs the man off his horse.  The two men fight and the Spaniard with his armor starts getting the upper hand.  Eréndira now comes up behind the Spaniard and wallops him in the back with her mallet.  Uncle now tells Eréndira to throw him her mallet.  He catches it and really whacks the Spaniard to death. 

Timas wins the battle and captures a lot of prisoners.  Eréndira brings the white horse of the deceased Spaniards to the people.  A man knocks her down and takes the horse from her.  Timas helps her back up and puts his arm around her shoulders. 

Timas is now the proud owner of a musket.  He throws the musket into a fire,.  Now he will sacrifice the prisoners of war to the gods.  All the prisoners are killed.   

Eréndira befriends the horse.  They refer to the horse an a hornless deer.  One day the men find the hornless deer gone.  Nunuma tells Timas that Eréndira stold the hornless deer and she must be punished.  He explains the situation.  When Eréndira with the hornless deer sees them coming for her, she runs away with the horse in tow.  Nunuma runs as fast as he can to catch up with Eréndira, who keeps falling.  She finally gets on the horse and rides away from the men, some of whom are entranced at the feat.  She finally falls off the horse and the horse comes back to her. 

Nunuma says they must kill Eréndira and throw her body into the lagoon.  His suggestion is met with silence.  Timas asks who caught the deer?  Nunuma says they all did.  Timas says, no it was a boy who caught the deer.  He goes over to Eréndira and helps lift her from her sitting position.  He then takes off her head cover revealing her hair.  He then says it's Eréndira who is the owner of the deer and she will decide on its sacrifice.  Eréndira is lauded for her great courage.  Now uncle pierces her lip to put an ornament there that all the warriors have.  She speaks to the men saying that in the battle they found the intruders to be mere mortals just like the people.  They are not gods!  And neither is the deer.  It's just another instrument of war.  She now asks her uncle if she can ride the deer into the next battle.  He gives her permission, but if Eréndira should fail, the deer will be sacrificed.

Now Nunuma starts talking about them going over to the other side with Cuynierangari.  Timas tells him to leave then.  Nunuma, however, wants to take Eréndira with him as his wife.  Timas says the woman is not fit for such an honor.  Nunuma leaves with his brother and six others. 

Eréndira tries to get on the horse repeatedly, but she keeps falling of.  The women and children laugh at the sight.  When she does get on, the horse throws her off.  So Eréndira takes the armor and the saddle off the horse and sees that the horse has a wound on its back.  She stops riding the horse.

One day Timas asks Eréndira if the horse is now united with her.  She says not yet.  So Timas says tomorrow she must appear in front of the warriors and tell them when the deer will be sacrificed.  Eréndira tells her horse that she doesn't want him to die. 

The next day she finally gets up on the horse and takes it for a short ride.  Up ahead in the mountains she sees smoke from several fires.  At night she rides up to one of the fires and tells the boy there that they will battle again in two days.  Then Eréndira rides back.  The boy rushes to tell the allies that he saw the goddess Xaratanga and she told him of a great battle to take place in two days.  Nunuma says it was Xaratanga riding the hornless deer she captured.  They have no need to be afraid.  The order is given to prepare for battle, but the people don't seemed at all enthused about going into battle again. 

Eréndira tells her uncle that she delivered his message.  Timas now tells her that he does not want her to die, so she will not go into battle this time. 

The allies' front group is ambushed in the woods and killed.  The friar is lucky to get away.  The main battle starts.  Eréndira now shows up on the battlefield on her horse.  Nunuma sneaks up behind Timas and shoots an arrow into his back. He then runs away.  The men around Timas try to catch up with Nunuma. 

Now Nunuma shows up at the heart of the battle.  Eréndira rides toward Nunuma and he falls backwards trying to get away from the horse.  Eréndira throws a stone at Nunuma and hits him in the head.  Nunuma goes down to the river and dives in to swim to the other side. 

Cuynierangari comes upon the wounded Timas and kills him.  Then he cuts off the man's head.  He takes it to the main battlefield to show it to the enemy.  The enemy now starts heading back home.  Eréndira rides her horse back home and yells that Timas has fallen in battle.  Now their warriors return and take up  defensive positions on top of a rock wall.  The boy who thought Eréndira was the goddess Xaratanga, now shouts to his people that the woman is Xaratanga.  So their warriors stop in their tracks.  The Spanish see this and decide that they must stop this religious nonsense by killing Eréndira.  They charge her but a young man on top of the rock wall puts an arrow into the throat of the lead Spanish man.  The other Spaniard gets off his horse to help his wounded friend. 

Cuynierangari shouts that what usually happens when a lord in killed in battle is that the blankets are taken off his women and everything in his home is taken away!   Eréndira rides right up to the other lord and grabs the pole with Timas's head on it.  She rides back to the rock wall.  Her people cheer her act of bravery.  Cuynierangari now shouts that he wants no more blood shed and he and his people head back to their encampment.  With the pole still in her hand, Eréndira rides around with the head of Timas.  Nunuma tries to kills Eréndira with bow and arrow, but Tsihue reminds him that the lord said there would be no more blood shed,.  Nunuma says he'll wait to strike when no one else is around to see the murder. 

Eréndira rides her horse back to the battlefield.  She takes the idol of Grandfather Cjuri-Cahueri.  Nunuma comes looking for her, accompanied by his brother.  He notices that someone has taken grandfather.  He knows that it had to be Eréndira. 

Eréndira finds the headless body of Timas.  She cries.  At night she burns Timas' body.  She says that Timas is food for the God Curi-Cahueri.  She cries.   Nunuma is still looking for her.  He finds her and shoots her in the back.  The horse starts chasing after Nunuma.  Tsihue runs to see Eréndira but the girl is dead.  Tsihue is so mad at his brother that he shoots him in the back with an arrow.  Nunuma falls and his brothers jumps on his back and starts repeatedly either stabbing the dying man or beating him to death with a stone.

The boy goes now to look for Eréndira again, but it was all in vain.  He never saw her again.  Some people said that Eréndira kept feeding the God Curi-Cahueri such food as maize.    


Good movie about a young Indian woman who stands up to the Spanish, their guns and their horses, when the male Indians were afraid to fight.  And she's the first person realize neither the Spanish men or their horses were gods.  She says they are human beings just like the people and that means they can die just as easily as the people do.  The young woman is the first of the village to capture and ride a horse.  She even rode the horse into battle.  And it was she that forged the people to fight the alliance of the Spanish with some of the people.  It is not known if this really is based on actual events or not, but the story became of the repertoire of great stories told through the generations of the people. Xochiquetzal Rodríguez was very good as Eréndira.

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.



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