The attributes of sacrifices, cannibalism, etc., are those of the christians,
christianity (as well as judaism and islam), and they attribute their values
and morals to Indigenous Peoples in "Australia" - Hawaii, North/South
"America", and everywhere else.
The Europeans live in a shadow world, and are in a constant state of denial.
AIM's view of the movie, and of Mel Gibson
"Disaster-lypto" - Mel Gibson's Latest Racist Insult
Apparently, insulting and racist attacks against indigenous peoples continue to be the acceptable status quo in the world today. Although Mel
Gibson was vilified for his drunken, anti-Semitic tirade a few months ago, and Michael Richards is still, justifiably, in the woodshed for his racist
rant at a LA comedy club last month, it remains open season to mock Native people in both public and private arenas. On Friday, December 8,
Mel Gibson's new movie, "Apocalypto," opens nationwide. Gibson appropriates the Maya people, in their classic period, for this gratuitously
violent depiction of a very complex society -- about which Gibson knows nothing. The film is a disaster -- historically, culturally, anthropologically,
spiritually, and humanly. "Disaster-lypto," if you will.
The most repulsive aspect of the film is that the Maya are "saved" from their self-inflicted "apocalypse" through the arrival of Christians -- a
historical glitch, because the European, Christian evangelical destruction of indigenous peoples did not begin until 300 years after the movie's
setting. That doesn't dissuade Gibson though, who admits that he was making it up as he went along. (see Village Voice review below) For an
anthropological critique, see: "Is 'Apocalypto' Pornography?" by Traci Ardren.
and this insightful one from The Nation:
Gibson got his ass kicked all around Tinseltown by the Jewish community for his idiotic rant about Jews being responsible for all the wars in the
world. "Apocalypto" seems to be Gibson's translation of that lesson from his earlier drunken meltdown as: "it's important only to insult people
who you think will not fight back." As indigenous peoples, we'd better not let this one pass -- or we deserve exactly what we get from Gibson and
Hollywood (in this case Disney Studios). Gibson's admission that he made up most of his invader fallacy, is a practice with which we, as
indigenous peoples, are quite familiar, unfortunately. And Gibson's reward for this latest product of total cultural incompetency? The film is
getting Academy Award buzz. So, the message is: insult Jews and African-Americans and get publicly rebuked and chastised. Insult indigenous
peoples, and get considered for an Oscar!?
The construction of indigenous peoples' reality by invader (fill in the blank - writers, historians, anthropologists, priests/popes, judges, politicians,
filmmakers) dates back to the commencement of the invasion by Columbus. The distorted images of cannibalism and human sacrifice among
Native societies are so deeply ingrained in the invader hegemony that now even indigenous people parrot it. Nacona Burgess, Activities
Director at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where a screening of Gibson's disaster was scheduled to be held, reinforced the
commonly-held, ignorant and racist stereotypes about Maya and Aztec peoples. "All of our students are adults, and they could've handled the
sacrificing scenes because they know that's how it was in the Mayan civilization," Burgess told The Santa Fe New Mexican. That's how it was?
Says who, Mel Gibson? We're now going to let Mel Gibson define Maya history and reality? Unbelievable. How about let's ask some Maya
people -- like the more than six million in Guatemala? Like the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico?
Gibson went out of his way to wrap his tripe in the veneer of legitimacy by sponsoring a screening of the film at the Chickasaw Nation's
Riverwind Casino in Oklahoma last week. Some of the attendees shilled for Gibson. "It is very important to note that Mr. Gibson has gone to
great lengths to cast indigenous people in this film," Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby said. "This not only helps make the film more
realistic, it serves as an inspiration to Native American actors who aspire to perform relevant roles in the film industry." Right. Jobs, jobs,
anything for jobs, massah.
Instead of fabricating the histories of indigenous peoples, Gibson would be better served atoning for his own society's brutality and inhumanity. If
he is so enthralled with human sacrifice, let him make some films about Euro-American-Australian human sacrifice, beginning with the 300 year-
long Spanish Inquisition:
followed by the Salem Witch Trials of 1692:
perhaps then a film epic about the centuries of human sacrifice in America/Australia (Gibson's original invader state) to keep the race "pure"
through the lynchings and other acts of collective violence against people of color:
and bringing it on up to a film inside the contemporary human sacrifice chamber at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, where hundreds
have been sacrificed to appease the God of Vengeance.
We will not be holding our breath waiting for these Gibson blockbusters. In the meanwhile, read this review of "Disaster-lypto" from the Village
Voice, and organize appropriate anti-racist actions (boycotts/pickets/letters to the editor) in your community. Don't let this racist pig get away
with this attack on us.
COLORADO AIM CALLS FOR BOYCOTT/PICKETS OF GIBSON FILM
The American Indian Movement of Colorado is calling for a boycott of the Mel Gibson film, "Apocalypto," due to its blatantly racist, anti-
indigenous theme and message. Colorado AIM urges all people of goodwill to refrain from giving the bigot Gibson any profits from this film.
Instead, Colorado AIM urges its members and allies to send the $20-30 that you might spend on attending the film to the following groups who
work with Maya communities that are in active struggle for their survival and resurgence:
Chiapas Support Committee
P.O. Box 3421
Oakland, CA 94609
381 E. 55th Avenue
Denver, CO 80216
(working directly with Maya coffee and honey cooperatives)
Mel Gibson Is Responsible for All the Wars in the World
OK, slight exaggeration, but he's at least to blame for this one he made up
by J. Hoberman
Apocalypto has a faux Greek title and an opening quote from historian Will Durant that ruminates on the decline of imperial Rome. It may seem
an odd way to comment on the supposed end of an imaginary, unspeakably barbaric Mayan civilization, but WWJD? Mel Gibson means to be
Following the gory trail marked by Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto is a blatantly sadistic spectacle, albeit not without a
certain chivalry. Women are raped and children butchered but Mel shows no taste for such savagery. (You might even call him protective: In one
feeble bid for a PG-13, the surviving children of Sugar Tit village are left to fend for themselves in the charge of a teenage babysitter). Mel is a
glutton for male punishment. There's not a man in this movie who isn't scourged, bashed, or punctured, unless he's disemboweled.
Unlike its predecessors, however, Apocalypto is unburdened by nationalist or religious piety, it's pure, amoral sensationalism. By those
standards, the most engaging sequence is played in the evil heart of the Mayan sacred city. Give the devil his due: Hieronymus Bosch or
Matthias Gruenewald would have appreciated Mel's vision of paganism run wild. The place is a monstrous construction site cum marketplace
where life is cheap (and so are the extras), and the blood pours over the stone monuments like molasses on Grandma's griddle cakes. It's
political too: Gesturing muck-a-mucks in feathered masks rise from their human footstools atop garish temples to address the juju-dancing mob
Maybe the Mayans really did bounce human heads down the steps of their pyramids but, being as their civilization collapsed hundreds of years
before the Spanish conquest, how would we know? "A lot of it, story-wise, I just made up," Gibson confessed to the Mexican junketeers who
visited his set last year. "And then, oddly, when I checked it out with historians and archaeologists and so forth, it's not that far [off]." Or far out, for
that matter. Irrational as it may be, Mel's sense of history does have a logic: JP's trip to hell ends when the Christians arrive.
"Today we are remembering our eldest elders, those who initiated the long struggle of resistance against the arrogance of Power and the
violence of money. They, our ancestors, taught us that a people with pride are a people who do not surrender, who resist, who have dignity." -
from Our Word Is Our Weapon.
I thought perhaps the movie would be a bit of a closer depiction of the following information. But how close can Hollywood get to us Aboriginal
people? Close to us in terms of depicting Aboriginal way of people? Dream on.
link to bahai-library.com
I am full-blooded Inuit from Nain Labrador, 32 and proud of my way of life. I've been in University for five years now.
I have not seen this movie yet, but the way it looks makes me a little concerned because of the delicateness that is involved, white people should
be very careful, I think, in depicting another people especially if it is an ancient one. There seems to be very strong images in this movie and I'm
a little afraid of that, what if the depictions are way offf, how will western people react to me when I look so much native? Will they think I'm
savage, in a cultural too? I'm tired of these wrong stereotypes. I want to go see a movie about natives that delivers a lot of pride because we
are very proud of where come from and who we are. I'm really tired.
I went to a friend's house and I showed him my traditional Inuit drum and two white guys, including him, asked what was the rim made of, I was
joking and said human. he looked at me with a fierce seriousness thinking what I said was true. He thought that may very well be true due to
watching this Apocalypto movie. His depiction of native people is sketched in his mind so deep now in such a horrible way. His image of native
people seem so war like now. I was saddened by his false image of native people. I wanted to say 'hey western white person, I am not like that,
I am proud of who I am, we have value for people, for life, for all things, children and so on'.
This movie was made by a western white person, not native, and this movie will run rampant! Wrong images and depictions of native people will
run deeper due to assholes like Gibson. He thinks he has an artistic right to do whatever he wants but he is damaging a way of life and that's not
right at all, not true art. Killing the spirits of a people who have a way of life fraught with pride.
I don't think there will be enough discussion and interpretation of this movie between us and western white people. The images are too deep
now I suppose.
Sick of being hit with wrong images and depictions.
Mel Gibson is full of shit, don't watch his new movie, "Apocalypto"
Body: As an indigenous person of Mexico I am very much offended and disturbed by Gibson's movie about the Maya. I went to see it at my school
(UCLA) for free a few days after it came out.
As a decendant(Huasteco) from the Maya people 30,000 years back I am very much worried that this false image and perspective of Indigenous
people is shown to Europeans, who are already ignorant of our cultures, and our own people whose identities have been also stolen by the
ancestors of the present oppressive right wing governments of the Americas. There have always been and are still today movements of
resistance and survival across the Americas. Some of us are working hard and reading, writing and learning the white man's ways to be able to
clarify some of the misconceptions of our original cultures and identities for some one like this punk to create a movie that only enforces more
stereotypes of our people. We have existed in the white eye's mind only as a mystical, romantic and magical image suspended in time and
therefore our reality, experience and lives are not worth it. They like to talk and present images of us in their own eyes, but when we try to clarify
and give them a reality check, than we are out of line.
Here are the things that I do not like about the movie.
1. That the scenery and the re-creation of the Mayan cities in the movie made me feel like I was in ancient Rome or Greece, our cultures were
not the same as theirs and therefore that should have not happened. We did not and still (at least I hope not) don't think like them and don't see
the world with their eyes.
2. This movie was full of blood and violence, from begining to end. In the fighting scences I feel I was watching Gladiator or some movie about
European warfare during the Crusades. It was really bad. As Indian people we value life and had a different set of rules in which to fight war and
3. One thing that I always question is human sacrifice. I have seen some books that suggest that some of the things "Europeans" saw as sacrifice
was in fact brain and heart surgery. The number of sacrificed victims in the movie was too much, (that kind of number of people that the main
character walked all over when he was trying to scape). Our people were very much knowledgeble of science, math, medicine and many other
things that we are not given credit for. Most of the credit is given to Romans and Greeks.
Tha'ts is how history is told. I leave it up to you to look it up.
4. Another thing that our people were very much aware of was astronomy, in fact many of the present indian cultures still use the sky as a
guidance on their cultivation cycles. That was then and this is still the case. The Mayan understood the universe and had calculations of distance,
time and cycles of planets around our galaxy. In the movie they show the people as being unaware of what an eclipse was and because of it they
were lied to by the "chiefs". That's bull shit.
The movie does not allow for any discussion or interpretation.
5. During the part of the movie when the eclipse is happening there are images of famine and biblical type of things happening as if we were
part of the experience of the christian people. That is Mel Gilbson trying to convert everyone, but we are different and we should be left alone. Our
cultures and prophecies are very much different than theirs (before and after catholicism and other christianity was introduced).
Things like revelations can not and should not be applied to us, because our experiences are different than theirs.
6. The way slavery is presented in the movie is wrong. Our people practice slavery but like I always say, it was not the same as European
slavery. We would have a more respect for those that we captured. There were places like the south in the U.S where tribes like the Cherokee
and others practice slavery but only after it was introduced in a new way by Europeans. It looks like the type of slavery that was and still is done in
the U.S and all over the world. That is where the next part of this will go.
Since Europeans landed on our continent they have used and abused not only our natural resources but have exploited our human labor. They
made us slaves in our own homelands and sometimes slaves across their constructive borders.
Enough is enough, to this very day they have had almost total control of what belongs to us as Indigenous people of these lands. They are the
rich and have lots of power in all areas. They control the institutions of the colonies they created and inherited from their ancestors . They control
the media, Televisa, Univision, TV Azteca, Venevision, Fox, NBC, CNN and many, many more. They control what is said in universities and
public school. Ya basta. Todas las cosas naturales de este continente nos pertencen a nosotros desde Alaska hasta tierra del fuego, todo fue
puesto aqui por el Creador para nosotros, ya es tiempo que reclamemos lo que nos pertenece.
All of the natural things of this continent belong to us from Alaska all the way down to Tierra del Fuego, all of it was placed there by the Creator
for us, it is time for us to reclaim what belongs to us by divine right. It is not just or morally correct for our people to be working for our survival and
their enjoyment of life and our resources, while they continue to exterminate us and work us to death. When will all of this end? Well, when we
get up and organize and fight back. It makes me sad when a lot of American indians take the position of the Europeans, a position against
migration from the Americas and can not see beyond their own noses. In a way they are in a bad situation because they live in the mouth of the
beast and with their current cooperation they are adding to its survival. Why not dream of getting all of the land that they took away, instead of
settlling for what they keep. We have nothing to lose because they control most of what we had, we have lots to gain, if you don't belive me ask
them how much they have and how they got it. The rest of the continent is in a phase of true liberation and we have to join in or else we will be
part of the problem.
Like I said there are a lot of movements of liberation going on in the Americas today and this time they seem to have more of a chance than ever
before, participate in this change, not in continuing a tradition of false images and stereotypical racist attitudes.
Eduardo J. Aguilar
M.A American Indian Studies '07
add a comment on this article
add a comment on this article