Is Apocalypto historically correct?
One 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.