January 09, 2007

Apocalypto = propaganda

Weinberg:  Mel Gibson's heart of darknessGibson has made a piece of propaganda for the ravaging of indigenous lands and culture. The Maya are still around--and they have been the victims of genocide as recently as the 1980s, when the Guatemalan military's counterinsurgency campaign reached its horrific climax. The 1999 findings of the United Nations-backed Guatemala Historical Clarification Commission estimated 200,000 dead in the civil war, squarely accusing the Guatemalan state of “genocide.” Yet this genocide never came to the conscience of the world the way that the genocide in Bosnia just 10 years later would.

“Apocalypto” is ultimately propaganda against not only the Maya, but indigenous peoples worldwide. And while revealing nothing about the Maya (other than the sound of one of their tongues, presented out of historical and geographic context), it reveals a great deal about Mel Gibson--and our civilization generally.

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