12/12/06

A Review of Apocalypto by Tiahui OR, Why We Need to Make Our Own Movies

Forwarded to me from Jack Forbes

UCTP Taino News Moderator's note: The following review was forwarded
from our indigenous Mexica brother Xochipilli (Anuar):

How are you brothers and sisters, I hope to find all of well and
content.

I write this letter concerning my review of the new Mel Gibson
movie "Apocalypto". I know a lot of us were excited when we heard
about the making of the movie which was going to be available for the
main public.

I have received a copy of the script before hand and the story line
was based on murder, rape, disease, slavery and the all famous mass
human sacrifice. But I had no clue to what extent until I saw the
movie, I told myself I wouldn't see it but some of my brothers and
sisters wanted to see It and I didn't want to be "left out"

Now the review.

The story line of the movie is about rural Mayan tribe who are
invaded by another bigger Mayan tribe from the Mayan metropolis.
sorry If I'm not clear on details like the name of the people and the
places but I looked away a lot of times. One of the main stars that I
remembered was one of the members of the small community, his name
was "Jaguar Paw".

So to put it all quickly the big city Mayans invade the rural Mayan
community in search of captives. Throughout the scene, the city
Mayans do everything from the burning of the village, to the killing
of innocent men and women who refused to surrender, to the burning of
men and women thrown into a open fire, to the raping and torture of
women.

So after all the remaining men were captured and tied-up the massacre
was over. All that remained were the burning huts and the bloody
corpse of men and women with their abandoned children crying at their
side. The men are taken tied by there hands and their necks tied on a
bamboo tress. At some point they pass through another village near by
were the inhabitants of this village were devastated by a disease,
another scene of bloody corpse lying around with this one Mayan child
infected with the disease cries for help but the ruthless, brutal
Mayan warriors push her away. And as they push the little girl away,
she reveals a prophesy of blah, blah, blah and beware.

They walk and walk while being tormented physically and
psychologically by the "superior" big city Mayan warriors.

Finally they reach the Mayan metropolis, I'm not sure which Mayan
city was being represented here but my guess was Tikal. All you see
throughout the city is blood, everywhere, animals slaughtered left to
right, seriously people covered blood eating bloody meat of animals.
The captives are then sold as slaves to what looked like merchants
and political leaders the ones who weren't sold as slaves received
the fate of being sacrificed at the top of the Pyramid.

Jaguar Paw was there along with them. So as they walk towards the
pyramid sacrifices were already being performed, heads and bodies
rolling down the blood covered steps of the pyramids, everything
covered in blood. There were wooden stakes in front of the pyramid
which carried the heads of hundreds of sacrificed victims.

Once the captives reach the pyramid top they are sacrificed one by
one by a Mayan priest covered in blood, representatives sit behind
him applauding, families with their children along with the whole
community cheer as the priest takes his small obsidian knife stabs
the victum in the chest and in one second rips out his heart then
with the same obsidian knife he rips the captive's head off and
throws it down the stairs then kicks the body down the stairs while
the people cheer and applaud. The body rolls down the stairs until it
reaches the bottom where it falls on top of a mass pile of bloody
mutilated bodies at the side of the pyramid.

Jaguar paw was the next to be sacrificed. But according to the little
girls prophecy or omen, the day would turn into night,, and that's
what happened when there was a eclipse and it was a sign of
salvation, "kulkulkan was pleased with all the blood we fed him" the
priest yells.

Jaguar paw's life is spared and so are the remaining of the captives.

The captives were then taken near a corn field where they were
granted freedom under one condition they must run towards a corn
field that was probably a hundred yards in length. At the corn field
a Mayan armed warrior stood. So two captives were released two by two
and as they ran for their lives, the warriors began shooting arrows
and spears and stones as more of a form of entertainment and
challenge. So if the captives didn't get killed with the spears,
arrows or stones, that one Mayan warrior at the end with end their
fate by clubbing them to death.
Jaguar Paw was next and he manages to escape the fatal arrows and
spears, and manages to kill the armed warrior, and runs for his life.
So the rest of the warriors go after him and the rest of the movie is
an ongoing chase to capture Jaguar Paw. At some point while jaguar
paw is running through this corn field he trips and ends up falling
into a mass grave of rotting, mutilated bodies of murdered Mayan
captives, of which appear to be hundreds or thousands of them.

Jaguar paw runs and runs, and during the chase the warriors are
attacked by both a jaguar and serpent and they kill the two sacred
animals, which was part of the little girls omen.

At the end jaguar paw manages to kill most of the warriors. Only two
warriors remained, chasing him until they suddenly froze along with
jaguar paw. Staring at the ocean, they saw the coming of the
conquistador ships, crosses and all.

And the movie ends with Jaguar Paw getting back with his wife and
child and the arrival of the ships on the coast.

Now, what I've written here is the whole movies, nothing but murder,
torture, human sacrifice, blood and more blood. This movie was
absolutely horrifying and disgusting to a point where I froze with
rage inside my head.

So pretty much this is how the movie flows, and for myself and others
with knowledge of our true history I could easily point out these
horrifying acts committed by Mayans towards other Mayans in the movie
were truly acts of terrorism and genocide. While these things did
happen the truth is the atrocities were really committed by hands of
the European invaders.

This movie is a racist bomb dropped on our great Mayan grandfathers
and grandmothers, Mexican and all other indigenous communities. It is
outrageous to EXPRESS THAT WE WERE REPSONSIBLE FOR OUR PEOPLE'S
GENOCIDE AND THAT RAPE, TORTURE, DIESEASE, MURDER, MUTALATION, MASS
BURNING MASS BURIAL, AND MASS SACRIFICE WAS ALREADY BEING COMMITED
BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF THE EUROPEAN INVADERS.

This movie is blaming our ancestors for the genocide and suffering of
their people, thus covering up and washing the hands of the European
invaders who actually committed these horrifying crimes, and it also
justifies it. It is an attack on us by a catholic fanatic freak named
Mel Gibson and the Catholic Church that backs him up. It is
intentional!

So my review - two middle fingers in the air!

So to all you brothers and sisters please avoid seeing this movie -
avoid letting your families and especially your children from seeing
it. I tell you now before being exposed to this garbage.

Thank you for reading I just needed to express my shame and
disappointment for watching this movie and my rage against it.

I must remain positive and move on forward.

Please feel free to add anything else,

Take care

Tiahui

8 comments:

Carol said...

Hello Joy.

I don't know anyone, not in my life, who would want to see this movie nor would I.

I believe that Mel Gibson is a mean spirited person. He's clearly a racist and his agenda to spread his poison beliefs is transparently obvious.

Peace to you.

From, Carol

erin said...

Thanks to the author of this article, and thanks to you for posting it here... Mel Gibson strikes again... and this time he can't even blame his horrid bigotry on the fact that he was intoxicated (like he did when he made anti-Semitic comments a while back)... nasty, all of it.

WHITEHORSE said...

THERE IS A MUCH BETTER FILM WHICH ACTUALLY FEATURES AN ALL-MAYAN CAST.
IT IS CALLED, CHAC, THE RAIN GOD.
THE FILM WAS MADE IN 1974 IN CHIAPAS, BY CHILEAN DIRECTOR, ROLANDO KLEIN.
IT WAS REMASTERED FOR VHS AND DVD BY MILESTONE FILMS.

WHITEHORSE

passing through said...

I am of African descent - born in the Caribbean now residing in the United States. I came across this blog as I saw this movie and was checking to see if the ending on the beach was indeed an historic fact -- but I have been unexpectedly lucky on this search:...

I left the movie thinking that it was an average movie - shallow characters with typical Hollywood good/bad simplicity. But I also remembering walking out thinking those guys must have had some brutality to their history as the images has a kind of familiar echo of school history and documentary programs about these nations. I therefore feel very lucky to have run across your comment because it has brought be back to reality - a reality check: uninformed Hollywood types always produce this biased insulting crap . I don't know your story (history) but need to hear it.

A couple of months ago I was listening to an interview of a Mexican religious figure(according to him, he was of the "peasant" class). In the interview, he described Mexico as having a sadness about (but that the people were warm and friendly). His comment made me feel a deep, broad sadness - that some thing awfully sorrowful that I was not fully aware of had taken occurred in the past.

I wish you luck and all the best wishes in getting your story out and getting things righted.

I had seen the news earlier in the year of the "historical first" presidential victory for indigenous people in Bolivia...if this victory is considered progress by your side, then my sincerest congratulations.

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right only white people have ever done evil things. There has never been any wrong doing by any other race. There were no human sacrifices in Mesoamerica, there were no black slave traders, there is no black on black genocide in Darfur, the Aztecs and other tribes just sat together and had tea. And if they did do those things it was all WHITY’S fault!

Joy said...

We are all human beings, capable of the gamut of human behavior. Some cultures and times elicit the worst from us. Others tend to grow compassion and art.

I question Mel Gibson's intentions. He's a notorious racist.

Anonymous said...

The lack of intelligence on this page is staggering. The only person who truly understands is "anonymous". We have to remain anonymous because of the risks of being sued. If you feel Mel Gibson missed the mark, please make a film and help WHITEY understand the "truth". The most sickening thing in life is when people blame others for their own mistakes instead of standing up and taking responsibility. Pathetic indeed.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'd just like to point out that I'm Mvskoke myself, and find it remarkable that you say "we" when talking about the Mayans. Their culture was a world of a difference from ours and any other tribe of the Western hemisphere, and what was depicted in Apocalypto did in fact occur. See, the only thing that infuriates me more than when our people, and all American Indians as a whole, are depicted as brutal savages, is when we are depicted as a perfect wise race. We are humans. And Apocalypto, in my opinion, brought out a beautiful point; any society, especially of that day and age, when reaching a certain point in grandeur and scale, could inevitably give way to horrible corruption of the masses, as did the Mayans before their even more despicable downfall from the Whites. But, as was clearly shown, Jaguar Paw and his people lived in balanced, so-called "primitive" societies in the timeless harmonium of their Amazonian life (which is excellently comparable to the universal lifestyles of your and my Mvskoke ancestors). Mel Gibson did a great job of establishing the ever present, multifaceted sides of humanity, even Indians, and more specifically the Mayans. Please do them, and your own people, the justice of not denying the truth where you see it, even if it includes evil on some of their part. What is a truly human society without the good AND evil? We weren't Utopias before the Europeans...even if we did have more spiritually fulfilling lives! But spirituality is a battle our ancestors fought, Mayan, Mvskoke, whichever group.

I find it ridiculous that so many think he was trying to make a racist statement about the natives, saying their downfall was their own fault, yadayada. Come on. Everyone agrees, in this age of political correctness, that the Europeans brought a foolproof and horrific downfall to natives, almost entirely. But the story Gibson established was very interesting and a new, important idea to us, that again, only reflected the truth of our multifaceted, often unseen world before the whites. It was such a good play on the quote in the beginning. The brief touching on the Europeans coming in served as interesting irony.

It was a unique and important story to note for the MAYANS (not everybody). It demonstrated what all humans are capable of, despite stereotypes of perfect wise men and women in Utopian villages. And yes while it showed some Mayans partaking in gruesome acts, a Mayan has no need to be defensive when seeing it, just as a modern or 1940's German need not apologize for the small fraction of Nazis. But I especially ask why any other type of Native Indian would ever be defensive.

And also, you did severely exaggerate the grotesque parts of the movie. A lot. I mean, your descriptions paint a different picture in my head than what I remember. I can understand if you're particularly squeamish and all, but there's no need exaggerate to the point of lying. To most movie-goers, it would be easy to handle.

Mvto,
Anonymous