7 thoughts on “Apocalypto (2006): Filmmaking Meets Archaeology

  1. This movie is so engrossing – it’s one that if I find that it’s on, I just have to stop and watch and that’s it for the next hour or so.

  2. My biggest issue with this movie is that it’s essentially Braveheart-it’s about a Noble Savage who goes up against the big, corrupt, empire, and, in some sense, wins. Unlike Braveheart, someone clearly did their homework, and it’s visually stunning. However, I can’t really enjoy watching it, since the way the urban Maya are presented, the goal to make them look frightening, decadent and almost inhuman.

  3. One issue I have with the “Apocalypto” costumes are colours. Everything is so dull, even the quetzal feathers. I don’t know where Gibson or his designers got this idea, Mayan art is full of lively, vibrant colours. Look at the Codices, the murals, the pottery. These blues, reds, yellows, greens and oranges are so strong, so juicy, why did Gibson dress everyone in these dull rags? Whyyyy?

  4. I saw that movie years ago on TV, so thankfully I didn’t give Gibson any money. But yeah the costumes were very interesting. However my problem was with how “evil” and “depraved” they tried to make the city Mayas look with their incredibly high levels of religious corruption and self-destructive exploitation of the land and even their toddlers smiling gleefully as people are sacrificed (what is it with Mel Gibson and putting creepy/evil babies into his movies??)
    And yeah the monstrous scale of human sacrifices, especially of warriors from surrounding tribes taken prisoner just for that (a practice known as “Flower Wars”) was mostly an Aztec thing, which is also the reason why so many of their subject tribes allied with the Spanish to fight against the Aztecs.

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