Viva Kino
Plot Summary Riding through the missions founded by a Jesuit in the 17th century, Maria, a young rodeo instructor, discovers the origins of the devotion towards father Kino spread in the whole of Mexico and US.
Riding through the missions founded by a Jesuit in the 17th century, Maria, a young rodeo instructor, discovers the origins of the devotion towards father Kino spread in the whole of Mexico. Her father, José Luis, and her uncles, have been making pilgrimages by horse following Kino’s steps for decades. With them, there is rancher and author Richard Collins, from Arizona. Their friendship, in the name of father Kino, overcomes the degrading wall along the border.
During the rides, Maria learns about the missions founded by father Kino, his geographical, astronomical, agrarian discoveries, how he was the first one to build the ranch system, and also founder of Arizona and friend of the Tohono O’Odham, the Pime, the people of the desert. She is immersed in the colours of the fest of Magdalena de Kino, among hundreds and hundreds of “faithful on the horse”.
Maria also carries out an interior journey, which brings her to confront with the hard reality of the border territories. Life for Tohono O’Odham is very difficult and the hypothesis of an extension of the wall, which would cut their land into two, is imminent. The desert of the narcos traffic has changed the face of a hard yet wonderful land. The tragedy of the deported and the clandestine is in front of them. The welcoming centres are doing an incredible job and are named after father Kino.
Maria and the other riders, following Kino’s steps, tell us the story of the Jesuit, along with the complexity of a contemporary world full of contradictions, taking inspiration from father Kino to go on with hope.

The film
The narration follows Maria’s thoughts, the interviews to the main characters and some original extracts from father Kino’s letters, written throughout his life. The activities of the Kino Border Initiative for the deported and the clandestine are documented. The dancing group Grupo de Danza Tradicional Tohono de Quitovac tells the devotion and the hopes of the people of the desert who have been long deprived from their dignity. The great feast of Magdalena de Kino shows the vitality of the name of the Jesuit in everyday life.
Kino’s letters are accompanied by the paintings of Ted DeGrazia, emigrated from Italy at the beginning of the last century, kindly given by the DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun, DeGrazia Foundation – Tucson, Arizona.
Filming took place in all the places in which Kino operated, even where narcos fights have made it difficult to carry out the work. The filming of the horses along the wall at the Nogales border want to be a sign of contradiction and hope.
The original soundtrack was composed interpreting the sonorities of the Tohono, Mexican rythms and the ballads of the West.
DirectorLia Beltrami
ProducerAndrea Morghen
Genres Documentary Historical Independent Political Religious Travel
Running time61 minutes
Year2018
Statusfinished
Production CompanyAurora Vision
FormatProress
Known Crew crew
Alberto Beltrami Composer, Music Supervisor, Sound Supervisor
Lia Beltrami Director
Marianna Beltrami Director (2nd Unit)
Andrea Morghen Producer
Known Cast cast
Lia Beltrami Director
Known Companies company
Aurora Vision production company

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