Tortilla Heaven

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Tortilla Heaven
Tortilla heaven POSTER.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJudy Hecht Dumontet
Screenplay byJudy Hecht Dumontet
Julius Robinson
Story byMitchell Leib
Produced byCourtney Mizel
Jose M. Iturralde
Judy Hecht Dumontet
Gilbert Dumontet
StarringJosé Zúñiga
Elpidia Carrillo
Alexis Cruz
Olivia Hussey
Jude Herrera
Lupe Ontiveros
CinematographyChuy Chávez
Edited byRick Fields
Hiroshi Kubota
Vanick Moradian
Music byChristopher Lennertz
Distributed byArchangel Releasing
Release date
  • May 13, 2005 (2005-05-13) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$105,401[1]

Tortilla Heaven is a 2005 independent comedy film written and directed by Judy Hecht Dumontet.[2]


A tiny town in New Mexico is turned upside down when the image of Christ appears - burned onto a tortilla - in the community's only restaurant, "Tortilla Heaven." Chaos ensues among the townfolk.



Critical response[edit]

The film was received mixed reviews from the press. Film critic Brandon Fibbs wrote, "Inspired, incredibly, by a true story, Tortilla Heaven is a modern-day fable, a sort of biblical parable couched in comedy. While a fable is an amusing and compelling way to relate a story with a serious point, Tortilla Heaven at times undermines its message by stretching the comedy to its limits. An over-the-top courtroom battle and a child custody fight with a nudist hermit veer the film into the realm of the absurd far too often. Tortilla Heaven comes very close to becoming a parody of the true movie the filmmakers wanted to make. Tortilla Heaven is a low-budget, independent production, and, most of the time, it looks the part. For every bit of genuinely beautiful cinematography, there is another sloppy, amateur-hour moment."[3]

Critic Justin Chang, critic for Variety, wrote, "Pic's almost exclusively Latino and Native American cast is mostly reduced to playing folksy caricatures, feverishly crossing themselves and peppering their Mexican-accented English with the odd exclamation in Spanish. But give some of the women credit: Olivia Hussey adds some loopy fun as a cow-milking nudist, while Lupe Ontiveros brings her usual brash attitude to bear on the role of a lecherous and overbearing mother-in-law. Production as a whole feels disjointed and thrown together for reasons that become all too clear in light of the film's 14 credited producers. Incidentally, the real-life "Holy Tortilla" legend hails from Lake Arthur, N.M., where the first (but certainly not the last) culinary manifestation of Jesus' face was reported in 1977. But after Tortilla Heaven, auds won't be praying for a Second Coming."[4] On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a 25% approval rating from critics based on 12 reviews.[5]



  • ALMA Award: American Latino Media Arts Award, Outstanding Performance of a Lead Latino/a Cast in a Motion Picture; 2006.


  1. ^ "Tortilla Heaven".
  2. ^ Tortilla Heaven at IMDb
  3. ^ Fibbs, Brandon. Christianity Today film review, March 16, 2007. Last accessed: January 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Chang, Justin. Variety, film review, March 18, 2007. Last accessed: January 28, 2011.
  5. ^ "Tortilla Heaven". Rotten Tomatoes.

External links[edit]