First it was the Jews; now Mel Gibson appears to have alienated the Mayas. One week before his Apocalypto is scheduled to open in the U.K. Britain's Sunday Telegraph has shown it to a number of authorities on Maya civilization and to ordinary people living in the Yucatan area that was the setting for the movie. One expert, Professor Bartolomé Alonzo Caamal said that while the violence depicted in the movie "was certainly part of Mayan life," Gibson's film failed to show that the Mayas "were a spiritual people, a philosophical people, a people who believed in harmony with nature. Where is all that in this movie? I had hoped this film would capture our culture and civilization, but it seems Mel Gibson wasn't interested in those aspects of our history. I am very worried about the message this will send to people around the world." Ignacio Ochoa, the director of the Guatemalan Nahual Foundation that promotes Mayan culture, told the newspaper: "Gibson replays, in glorious big budget Technicolor, an offensive and racist notion that Maya people were brutal to one another long before the arrival of Europeans and thus they deserved, in fact, needed, rescue." Gibson has said that the violence in the movie is not so egregious as his critics claim. "I have fooled people into thinking it is more violent than it is because they care about the characters," he said.




01/01/2007