December 16, 2006

Why Mel chose Maya

With Help From a Friend, Mel Cut to the ChaseSafinia and Gibson chose the Mayan civilization as their historical point in time for several reasons. They wanted to explore a pre-Colombian, pre-European native culture, and they chose the Mayans over the Aztecs because of their sophistication and swift downfall.

"The Mayans were far more interesting to us," Safinia says. "You can choose a civilization that is bloodthirsty, or you can show the Mayan civilization that was so sophisticated with an immense knowledge of medicine, science, archaeology and engineering ... but also be able to illuminate the brutal undercurrent and ritual savagery that they practiced. It was a far more interesting world to explore why and what happened to them."
Translation:  You can choose a bloodthirsty civilization, or you can invent a bloodthirsty civilization.


Rob said...

What your response misses is that movies and other artforms can be honest and authentic or disingenuous and stereotypical. Unfortunately, Apocalypto is the latter.

But no one is trying to prevent Gibson from exercising his constitutional right to make blood-soaked message films featuring Indians as barbaric savages who deserved to die. Criticism isn't censorship.

Rob said...

You could label the motives of anyone, from Jesus on down, as self-serving. Therefore, it's almost pointless to go into George-Kanentiio's motives. The criticism and its merits are what matter, not the reasons behind them.

Speaking as one who has criticized Gibson, I can assure you I don't want to censor or ban him. His Jew-baiting is nothing compared to the "apocalyptic" vision in his films. If he makes the Great Native American movie next time, I'll praise him as much as I've criticized him.