Apocalypto

This is about “Apocalypto”, the film by Mel Gibson.

I heard so many bad reviews from the Mayan crowd on this movie that I avoided it when it came out to the theaters.

But that did not stop me from renting it a while back and viewing it at home.

Surprise! It was actually a very enjoyable experience.

I had heard that it showed the Mayans as a blood-thirsty religious-crazed civilization on the decline.

There were enough of those elements in the film to garner that sort of reaction. But I found it to be historically accurate.

The characters all spoke Mayan throughout the film. The cinematography was magnificent, the characters agreeable in the Hollywood-stereotypical fashion.

Perhaps the one thing I knew that the others viewers did not was that the majority of the Mayan centers had been absorbed into the spreading warrior culture of the Toltecs from the west.

Most of the Mayan civilized areas had already been abandoned by the Maya themselves before this period.

So, the blood-thirsty group that rounded up the Mayan peasants and dragged them to the city for execution were not the same as the Mayan rulers of old.

It is not to say that the Maya themselves did not engage in this sort of activity at times. They most certainly did.

But nothing on the same scale as the Aztecs and the Toltecs of the period around the Spanish Conquest.

No, at that time, the majority of the Mayan were off the radar.

So, though I can understand the concern, the Maya are shown in a favorable light in the film.

But there was no mention of the calendar or their marvelous end-date. Gibson had a different sort of “ending” theme in his mind.

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