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Mel Gibson's Apocalypto - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Date: Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto is a story narrated about the ancient Maya people and their classical history, a people who lived for more than a thousand years in a delicate tropical environment. The film depicts the violent and blood loving Maya people who used to offer human blood sacrifices, with great intensity of violence…
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Mel Gibsons Apocalypto
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Download file to see previous pages However, the film by Gibson does not indicate any critical relevance to the current world as the film deals too much with violence and blood, forgetting to pay attention to other details among the Maya people, which shaped their current cultural and social dynamics, though violence is part of today’s social setting. Ardren (2006) explains that though the Maya practiced violence and brutality against their fellow community, and practiced child sacrifices in this classical period, the Maya people are also well known for achievements that range from arts, sciences deeply tooted spirituality that had connection with agricultural cycles, and the profound engineering design of the Mayan cities. However the Apocalypto shuns these achievements aside and concentrates on portraying the Maya people as grossly brutal people, with savage nature to one another until the Europeans arrived in their territory, supposedly to rescue them from these barbaric rituals and violence. The arrival of the missionaries particularly towards the end of the film and the calm experienced in Maya directly suggests the Mayan people indeed needed rescue by the Europeans from their savage nature, towards a more enlightened community. Ardren argues that the same idea was used to subjugate the Mayan people for more than 500 years, but it has received vehement opposition from the Mayan community and intellectuals today. There is proof that such ideas of portraying the Mayan pole as Savage and brutal, and in need of salvation from their own self was used in justifying the civil war between the 1970s and 1990s, through manipulation from the Guatemalan army (Ardren, 2006). Therefore, the film is grossly one sided, and presents an offensive biased perception of the Mayan people. The rituals suggested in the film have no relevance to the society today. In the film, the priests placed their victims on pyramid tops, stretch them over a stone alter, strike on the chest with an obsidian knife, and tore the still beating heart, lifting it up to the sun (Sweedler, 2007). Though there are evidence of past human rituals among the ancient Mayan communities, Gibson in the film is keen to approach the sacrificial practices of the pre-Columbia Mexico to their own interests, than offering a concise historical account of the past rituals in the Mayan community (Sweedler, 2007). The understanding of sacrifice in the Mayan community is far removed from the rituals portrayed in Apocalypto where the captives are treated like cattle being led to a slaughter than captor’s flesh and blood. The disregard portrayed against the captives in Apocalypto is characteristic of Goibson’s films, where he portrays both cruelty and brutality. This is portrayed through the portrayal of mean looking hunters that suggest pure evil. However, to a lesser extent Gibson’s film has some cultural and social relevance despite the gross violence that runs through the film. The long chase of Jaguar towards the end comes to terminates when he is suddenly saved by the arrival of Christopher Columbus and his fellow explorers, whose presence significantly affect the bewildered Holcane worriers (Sweedler, 2007). The Arrival of Columbus at the shores of Yucatan in 1502, in the year of his fourth expedition marked a direct contact between the indigenous people in American, the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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