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Apocalypto Is an Allegory

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The author of this well written piece seems to ignore that one can just as easily interpret the film as an allegory. Evidence sugests (ie. the quotation at the begining of the movie) that Mr. Gibson was more interested in crafting a tale about how and why even the most complex societies crumble. Much of the film's depictions of the Maya focused on the decadence of Mayan city, the inequity and aparent disregard for the environment (remember how shocked the captives were upon seeing the mass deforestation).

If one focuses too much on the aspects of the film that could be construed as racially offensive he/she looses sight of the film's overall message.

Yes much more violence, bloodshed and oppresion ensued after the arival of Europeans, but the subject of the film was how great societies loose their way, get corrupted from within and then eventually fall vulnerable to outside forces.

Mr. Gibson could have made a study of the Romans, the Babylonians, and countless other empires that have faded into history, but he chose a society in continental Americas to prove a point; that what can occur on the other side of the Atlantic can also occur here. Mr. Gibson has intimated such a message by comparing ( I believe incorrectly) the alleged human sacrifice rituals of the Maya to the wars in Iraq.

Lastly, one cannot be overly critical of Mr. Gibson's depictions of the Maya because almost all films that depict other cultures tend to fall into one of two categories: the over-romanticization of indigenous people and gross objectification. In looking at the film we should focus on the humanization of the protagonist, Jaguar Paw and his drive to return to his family because that is a common factor amongst all humans.

-written in response to article posted at :

Mel Gibson Is Wrong about Who the Violent Americans Are by Roberto Lovato, New America Media. Posted December 16, 2006.



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