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“Apocalypto” by Mel Gibson

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The film Apocalypto, by Mel Gibson is full of suspense and adventure. It tells a story about a young man Jaguar Paw and his tribe members getting brutally captured by another tribe as slaves. For some, this movie might be shocking due to the violence we get to be exposed to. In the movie, Jaguar Paw manages to escape from the men who want to kill him and experiences very awful moments trying to survive in his forest. “I am Jaguar Paw! This is my forest! My sons and their sons will hunt here after I am gone!” (Jaguar Paw, Apocalypto). Once that is over, and he is able to get rid of most of the men that were after him, everything changes. The Spaniards had arrived to his forest; it was the start of something new. Jaguar Paw returns to get his little family and start their journey in search for a new beginning.

The tribe who had captured Jaguar Paw and his tribe were very big on human sacrifice rituals; they believed their gods were fed through this ritual, that this made them happy. Back then these people were very smart and scientific, they studied the sky and universe, it is really fascinating how brilliant they were. One area where this film did not reinforce the history of these tribes was when the eclipse occurred. In the movie, the people from the village appeared scared and surprised, when on reality an eclipse was nothing new to them. These people had everything well calculated; they knew everything about the skies, so an eclipse was common and predictable. Also, another misunderstood part in the film was when all the dead bodies where laying on the ground. For me that scene was disrespect to our ancestors. Neither the Maya or Aztecs would have bodies just lying wherever, they would create a special place to keep the bodies so they could later dissolve or they would bury them.

I think this scene can also make people think wrong about these tribes, they were not “savages” as some people think. This was just part of their way of living. “Their culture, that is, their way of life, revolved around those things most important to them: the hunt and the animals they depended on for food, as well as the forces of nature such as rain, lightening, thunder, the sun and the moon.”(The Mexican American Heritage, Carlos M. Jimenez). I would definitely change parts in the film if I was the director. I would not allow that much violence to show and I would add some information about our ancestors. I would want people to learn from this movie and give credit to these people; because of them this is where we are now. I would want these tribes to be respected and admired, not considered savages. My name for the film would be “Year One” as in the beginning of what is now civilization. This film would show us how much we’ve grown. Overall, this movie was pretty neat, it is definitely worth watching and I recommend everyone to watch it.

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