December 28, 2006

Educators and filmmakers lie

The 'deception' of 'Apocalypto'Worse than the lies the teacher tells are the lies that top scholars tell. Like that genocidal warfare, rape from sexually repressed soldiers, racial enslavement and global conquest were a part of everyday American Indian life. You may have already heard your children say, "Indians had slaves, too"; "Indians murdered and raped each other, too"; "Indians stole the lands of others, too." These lies void responsibility and accountability of the racial enslavement of Africans in America, the genocidal warfare practiced against American indigenous people and the thievery of their land.

Indians must be especially aware of these types of lies because they set up an even greater lie--that Indians were equally or more violent than the Spanish, English or French colonizers of America; or that the Roman Catholic Church saved Indians from themselves.

"Apocalypto" is a movie that takes these lies to the fullest extent possible. After you watch this film you may be wrongfully convinced that it was the Mayan who stole land from your ancestors; you may begin to think that it was the Mayan who burned the villages of your ancestors; you may begin to believe that it was the Mayan who tied up Indian men and raped their wives while they watched powerlessly; you may be convinced that the Mayan were the culprits who brought smallpox to decimate the indigenous American populations; you will probably be convinced that Indians taught Europeans racism and racial slavery; you will be lied to while watching this movie, and you will mistakenly be thankful that Europeans came and saved your ancestors from their own demise.
Conclusion:Gibson may have the resources and ability to do some good research on existing Native peoples; perhaps this trend will catch on in big Hollywood. But still, in terms of historical research, a high school senior could have done better than his entire "Apocalypto" team. Comment:  I've yet to see a single source that says Apocalypto is historically accurate. If someone has such a source, please present it.


Rob said...

Maybe, but the writer makes an important point: that Mel Gibson lied about the Maya throughout Apocalypto.

Noted that Gibson used some sort of expert to create a veneer of authenticity but still got the key points wrong. That seems like prima facie evidence that he intentionally falsified Maya history and culture to promote his agenda.

Rob said...
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Rob said...

I haven't missed your point. I'm simply fulfilling my mission to point out the lies and stereotypes. If they're there, I note 'em.

You're the one that claims Gibson's version of the Maya matches your decades of research. You know, the research you conveniently won't provide a source for or share with us? In other words, you're saying Gibson told us the truth while I'm saying he told us lies.

More precisely, you started by saying he told us the truth after critics pointed out specific lies. When that didn't work, you retreated to the inevitable "all movies are lies" rationalization. That's called trying to have it both ways.

Too bad I'm here to point out the contradiction in your positions. If every movie is a fiction, why are you bothering to tell us about your research? It's irrelevant to a movie filled with lies like Apocalypto.

So again, is Apocalypto historically accurate or isn't it? Pick "yes" or "no" and stick with your answer. Stop trying to shift positions when I catch you in a contradiction.

As for the aspersions you cast on critics, they're flatly ridiculous. I don't criticize works of fiction because I'm a frustrated artist. I write fiction myself, and there's no conflict between that and my criticism of others.

In fact, I criticize only the works that deserve it. If a work doesn't stereotype Indians--e.g., Christmas in the Clouds, COMANCHE MOON, or The Truth About Stories--I don't search for things to criticize about it. I give it the praise it deserves.