‘Segundo Muerte’ is love letter to Latin culture

Published 7:20 am Wednesday, April 10, 2024

By Alyssa Schnugg
Senior reporter

In the heart of the scorching Texan landscape, amidst the dusty plains near McAllen, a tale of resilience and pride is about to unfold. “Segundo Muerte” is the story of Alonso, the legacy child in a family of revered bullfighters, whose life takes a dramatic turn after a life-changing accident.

Alexa Christian, a junior transfer student at the University of Mississippi, is the director, writer and co-executive producer of the film, which is in preproduction. Other producers are Constance Terry, Caleb Suggs, and Gerardo and Kristi Martínez. The crew is largely made up of fellow Ole Miss students.

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“This is my personal life’s work,” Christian said. “I call it a love letter to the Latin community. ‘Segundo Muerte’ is to uplift and celebrate Latin and Hispanic voices and pay homage to the unique culture of bullfighting.”

With a talented ensemble cast of professional Hispanic actors and actresses, including Brayan Angulo as Alonso, Bel Razo as Mirabel and Roberta Pikser as Lupita, the film embarks on a cinematic exploration of identity, courage and the enduring spirit of the Latin community.

“Segundo Muerte” is said to be more than just a story; it is a homage to the rich cultural heritage of bullfighting and a testament to the resilience of individuals facing adversity.

The narrative takes place in the 30 minutes before Alonso’s first bullfight, offering viewers an intimate glimpse into his world as he attempts to prove to everyone – including himself – that he can carry on the family name with pride, despite his disability. 

The film will have a cast of seven people, made up of professional Hispanic actors and actresses: Brayan Angulo as Alonso, Bel Razo as Mirabel, Roberta Pikser as Lupita, David Montalvo as Jorge, Oscar de la Rocha as Juan, Andrew Nava as the Stage Manager and Alberto and Mayagoitia as the Plaza Announcer.

A fictional story, “Segundo Muerte” was born from Christian seeing a short story contest in 2021. “The prompt was ‘Raging Bull,’ and I immediately thought of a young matador,” Christian said. 

“After some inspiration from William Goldman’s ‘Adventures in the Screentrade,’ ‘Segundo Muerte’ went from a short story to a short film.”

Filming begins in June of this year and will take place near the border in McAllen, and thanks to the Martínez couple and Miguel Nuñez, the Santa Maria Bullring will be primarily featured in the film.

Christian said “Segundo Muerte” will be submitted to film festivals. “An important one will include the Oxford Film Festival,” she said. “It’ll be great for the Ole Miss crew to be able to share this work with the film-loving community of Oxford.”

A “Kickstarter” fundraising campaign was started to support the film’s creation. Featured in the “Long Story Short” category, the campaign offers rewards for contributions starting from just $1, providing backers with an opportunity to become part of this cinematic journey. The campaign ends May 4.

For more information, follow the movie’s progress on Instagram @segundomuerte.