20 thoughts on “Hernán (2019) Needs a U.S. Release

  1. Looking at period paintings and even when reenacting the early 1600s and not the 1500s the European clothing is looking somehow poor – more like a cheap German documentary. I suppose that the Spanish officers would have tried to impress the American leaders. It’s a shame especially because there are enough people in Europe to ask even decades ago.

    1. She was living in Cuba, and somehow got herself to Veracruz (I think with some Spanish reinforcements?), then joined Cortes when he was returning to Tenochtitlan from Veracruz. All very complicated. There were several Spanish women who did participate in the conquest, including Beatriz de Palacios, Beatriz González, Isabel Rodríguez, and Juana Mansilla — I think maybe the show was trying to reference them?

      1. I knew there were spanish women in Cuba but it genuinely surprises me that any were able to join the conquistadors in Mexico. I assume this would be after Cortez had established a reasonably secure foothold?

        1. Not really! It’s when the Spanish are essentially besieged in Tenochtitlan, so it was a pretty bad decision on her part.

  2. This seems serviceable. I would have loved to have seen Werner Herzog make his proposed movie on the subject. He intended to film it from the perspective of the Aztecs and said the Spanish arrival would have felt like “a real life example of an alien invasion”.

  3. Marina! I remember her from reading about the Aztecs, a very, very important person. I think she looks good but the head wraps are mystifying. I can’t remember what her people actually dressed like, though. De Aguilar looks like a hipster because of the beard, which Mayas did not have, but he had a beard in real life, so they lucked out.

    1. Marina is a very interesting person indeed. Given that she’d been enslaved by the Aztecs her transference of loyalty to Cortez makes a lot of sense. The Spanish seem to have treated her with more respect than the Aztecs ever did.

      1. Yes, that’s the idea I got from the book I read. She and her people seemed to think the Spanish would be a better bet than the Aztecs, and based on what they knew it wasn’t a weird decision, but they couldn’t know how it would develop.

        1. I’m not sure they were wrong. The Aztecs were nasty SOBs who took human sacrifice to genocidal levels. At least the Spanish didn’t rip people’s hearts out of their chests for daily prayers! And some individuals, like Marina did get a better deal from the Spanish.

          1. Something I have to address that while there’s no doubt that the Aztec practiced human sacrifice to a huge scale, compared to the Maya, the nature and scale to a lesser extent were exagerrated by the Spanish chronicles to justify their subjection and colonization of the Nahua people. So it’s deeply problematic to judge a culture based on that alone, especially getting the rabbit hole of what the Spanish particularly did to the people.

            1. Um no. Towers of skulls! Literal towers of skulls?? You don’t get to be angry about the evil inquisition yet give the Aztecs a pass.
              These were not nice people and karma bit them hard when their subject people’s sided with the invader.

          2. Let’s not judge a culture hundreds of years old and very different from our own. Remember the Spanish were burning heretics at the stake. And Cortes’s atrocities (e.g. the massacre at Cholula) were pretty egregious.

        2. In the moment, one would be looking out for number one. Why would she have any loyalty to the people who had sold her into slavery? And, of course, the inter-city warfare shows just how much the idea of being “us” as in the entirety of Mexico would be ridiculous.

          1. Yes, I think her decision made total sense for her. And she couldn’t know what the Spanish were doing at home. It’s on the Spanish colonisers that they treated a people that helped them as badly as the rest.

  4. Nobody owns a bleeding comb! Why does historical costume equal messy hair for so many cinematic producers??
    And the idea of Cortez having a moorish love is as far as I know completely un-historic and darn unlikely given the moors had either been expelled or converted by his time.

    1. For a second I was thinking “wait, there’s a comb that bleeds in here?” The series has her family converting, but then being accused of secretly practicing Islam.

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