December 12, 2006

Trend:  non-Westerners as savages

'Apocalypto' does disservice to its subjectsThe Maya at the time of Spanish contact are depicted as idyllic hunters and gatherers, or as genocidal murderers, and neither of these scenarios is accurate. The film represents a step backward in our understanding of the complex cultures that existed in the New World before the Spanish invasion, and it is part of a disturbing trend re-emerging in the film industry, portraying non-Western natives as evil savages.

"King Kong" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" show these natives as uncaring, beastlike and virtually inhuman. "Apocalypto" achieves similar goals, but in a much subtler fashion.
For some similar thoughts, see Great White Hopes vs. Screaming Hordes.

1 comment:

Rob said...

"Non-Westerners" includes Arabs, Africans, Asians, South Sea Islanders such as those in King Kong, and traditional Native people such as those in End of the Spear, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Apocalypto.