December 08, 2006

Apocalypto = problem, not solution

'Apocalypto'Numerous good things can be said about "Apocalypto," the director's foray into the decaying Mayan civilization of the early 1500s, but every last one of them is overshadowed by Gibson's well-established penchant for depictions of stupendous amounts of violence.

Despite a genuine talent for taking us to another time and place, a gift that under other circumstances would be worth experiencing, Gibson has made a movie that can be confidently recommended only to viewers who have a concentration camp commandant's tolerance for repugnant savagery.
This critic's conclusion:Gibson unblushingly intends "Apocalypto" as a clarion call warning modern man to watch his step or risk following the Mayas into decline and near-extinction. To this end he opens the story with a famous quote from historian Will Durant about the fall of Rome: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."

This is all well and good, but the reality of "Apocalypto" is that this film is in fact Exhibit A of the rot from within that Gibson is worried about. If our society is in moral peril, the amount of stomach-turning violence that we think is just fine to put on screen is by any sane measure a major aspect of that decline. Mel, no one in your entourage is going to tell you this, but you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. A big part.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Colorado AIM's take on Apocalypto
http://colorado-aim.blogspot.com/

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Is AIM now only present in Colorado? I mean, Frances Wise lives only a couple of blocks away from writerfella here in Anadarko, Oklahoma. Carter Camp also is in this region. Do neither of them have any sort of 'take' on APOCALYPTO? What about Russell Means and Dennis Banks, or are they sore that they didn't get parts in the film? AIM is so 20th Century that they still must believe this is 1999...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

From what I've seen, AIM is especially active in Colorado (Columbus Day protests) and Florida (protests against pseudo-Indian pageants). Maybe in Ohio and Pennsylvania too (protests against Chief Wahoo).

I don't know about elsewhere. But if the regional AIMs are independent, a few motivated individuals could make offices like Colorado's stand out.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
writerfella agrees, as the 20th Century incarnation of the American Indian Movement was nomadic. They'd hit town, do their collusive protests and partying, and then quickly decamp, leaving the Native residents of a given area to live in the aftermaths as best they could. Here in Oklahoma most such types now keep low profiles mainly because we know who they are and we know where they live.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Anonymous said...

AIM in Wisconsin is quite right now. My grandfather one of the founders of AIM(Herbert Powless) has seen the movie. Although he enjoyed it, he said that he knew it would cause alot of controversy. He said he knew someone from AIM or a large group of Natives would have an issue with the film. But he also said, its really not about all the other tribes that have a problem with the film, It's about the MAYAN people themselves and how they feel about it. he also told me that just because one Native found it stereotypical doesn't mean another will. I am one who sometimes questions my grandfather, and would continue to ask him questions. But this time i couldnt agree more.

Rob said...

See Maya Scorn Apocalypto for a response to your comment.