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Is Apocalypto historically correct?

Apocalypto.jpgOne history professor has called Apocalypto an insult to Maya people after seeing an early screening of the film. Of course the very fact that reporters took a history professor into the film and she happened to be completely negative and hated it is perhaps slightly telling in itself, but that aside, she says it's not factual.

She complains that the film carries the message of Christianity saves the Maya savages, that architecture is incorrectly placed throughout time periods, women wouldn't have been dancing, and the costumes were maybe too elaborate.

The killer for me, and the one that just makes her entire arguement look silly is when she is asked by Austin360 what she would have liked to have seen:

I thought it would highlight some of the achievements of the Maya, but none of them is presented. They show some buildings but they don't talk about them. You get glimpses of some art, but it's overwhelmed by the non-stop violence.

Okay...which trailers did she see? Which interviews and stories throughout the production did she listen to and read? Why did she ever expect a history lesson out of this film?

I do agree that historical films should carry accuracy, but the nit picking she does above is hardly that important. It is something we see Hollywood do continuously though, changing huge aspects of historical fact in film.

For me the only two things she has to say in that interview above that could carry some weight are that the Maya people weren't brutal savages and that there's a message of Christianity saving the people from themselves. Well, I've heard historical fact that the sacrifices were brutal and quite savage acts which were actually performed, but I haven't seen the film to see if this Christianity message is clear or not.

One thing is clear, this is the closest to historical fact in film that we have on these people, and if the facts presented are wildly out then there should be more exploration and discussion on these, but if it's the fact that their costumes weren't right, or the wrong drawings were in the wrong place on the wrong wall, I'm not so sure we should be concerned.



I doubt very much that 300 will be historically accurate either. Will reporters be bringing along historians to gripe about that too? Probably not.

I really think Gibson brought this on himself though. With the controversy ove The Passion of the Christ and his drunken anti-semitic rant, this kind of scrutiny should be expected. It may be a bit petty, but it was bound to happen.

Through Box Office Mojo, Apocalypto has now taken over the box-office lead with $15,000,000 on opening weekend.

i saw this film and it is just stunning. if people would like to get educated they should read books and spend time in the library and attend lectures and travel and live their lives. do not expect to earn a degree in mayan civilization after seeing this movie. it's a movie. it's entertainment. sheesh, people!

i dunno why some think that apocalpyto implies that christianity would have saved that endangered race. because history tells us it hasn't. the whole point of the movie is that mankind time and time again does not know how to govern itself and cannot save itself from its natural tendencies: greed, conquest, oppression. but in the midst of all these one can always find hope. and survive. and have a new beginning.

I dont even know where to begin to sing praises for this film. It's so damn good guys, you owe it to yourselves to watch it, really. And amen to that gypsy. ;)

An amazing film, like a dream-combo of The Last of the Mohicans and the last 30 minutes of Apocolypse Now. BUT guys, c'mon, surely you can understand the complaints about accuracy. What if the only film made about America not only focused on Guantanamo Bay above everything else but also included stuff Hitler did - Germany 50 years ago being not a huge ammount not much further removed in history and distance than the Aztecs and the Mayans. Plus the Christian Spanish went around slaughtering the Mayans, though the film does make them appear as possible salvation. That said Mel, is a genius film-maker. Bring on the jaguar!

JDub, if you have time, read Richard's review of Apocalypto.

Definitely JDub, I think I probably discuss these aspects too much, but they are discussed.

Filmstalker reviews Apocalypto

I love Jdub Post. Really. He mentions Hitler, Guantanamo and the Christian Spanish in ONE SINGLE post. Such a display of brilliance only makes me more humble towards the achievents of Creation regarding human minds. I need some retirement period after that. I mean it.

my problem with the film is that makes one group of Indians out to be the evil ones and the others, victims. The captured ones dont even know about human sacrifice.. this would be impossible as their entire world view was based on sacrifice.. Even the self induced sacrificial bleeding of the King and Queen. See Blood of Kings by Linda Schele for an excellent introduction. "A forest of Kings is also excellent. (though she covers the classic Maya and Gibson is giving us his version of the Aztecs of the 1500s)

Gibson's film, like Passion, could do with just a little less violence, but is just stunning to look at. Im watching it in blueray now. and wondering how accurate all the scarification and tattooing is, but in the end it doesn't really matter.

Many of the Indian tribes were incredibly cruel and 'barbaric' (it was their religion) and human torture and sacrifice of every kind was prevalent.

How is the Blu-ray for extras Albert? I was thinking of getting it myself.



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