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    Posted: 21-May-2009 at 19:09
 Many movies (fiction) about Native Americans just show them as savages and even if they show a more sympatetic view it´s still mostly through the eyes of the whites. Movies of the latter kind is for example "A man called Horse", "Little Big Man" and "Dancing with Wolfs" all from USA.
We have also the somewhat romantizised  depiction of Amazon Indigenous people in John Boormans "Emerald Forest". Also in that the main character is white even if he was brought up in an indigenous society.
 
One interesting movie that is  about Indigenous people is the Brasilian "A Lenda de Uribajara" from 1975.
 
It is presented like this in IMDB:
"In order to earn a warrior name, the son of Araguaia chief wanders the forest, falls in love with a girl from the Tocantins tribe, and defeats their bravest warrior. When his true identity is discovered, he makes a deal: promises to fight the Tapuias, another tribe which threatens the Tocantins, marries the Indian girl and establishes the Ubirajara nation"
 
That movie is also romantizised but at least it`s about Native Americans and not about a white guy living among them.
It seems that the movie is made after a romance written by Jose De Alancar in the 20th century.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 20:05
In Apocalypto, Whites don't play any major role. Unfortunatelly, the White director, Mel Gibson, a orthodox Catholic, used the movie to spread a loaded message: "pre-columbian cultures were evil". But that's not the main problem with the movie. The main is its historical inacuracy.
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GökTürk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 20:16
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

... Unfortunatelly, the White director, Mel Gibson, a orthodox Catholic, used the movie to spread a loaded message: "pre-columbian cultures were evil"....
 


You are so rightly,brother.
"Other cultures are barbaric,disgusting,backward..The Best is mine!"

I hate that fanatical idiotic thought.


Edited by GökTürk - 21-May-2009 at 20:18
TENGRİ TEG TENGRİDE BOLMIŞ TÜRK BİLGE KAĞAN-
TURK WISE KHAN WHO BECAME IN SKY LIKE SKY-GOD
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 20:43
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

In Apocalypto, Whites don't play any major role. Unfortunatelly, the White director, Mel Gibson, a orthodox Catholic, used the movie to spread a loaded message: "pre-columbian cultures were evil". But that's not the main problem with the movie. The main is its historical inacuracy.
 
 
Oh yes, I nearly forget about that one. It really exaggerates the violence among the maya and on top of that the movie indtroduces the spaniards a couple of hundred years to early. Gibson also shows architecture, art and ornaments from different places and time periods mixed toghether.
 
And the rainforest dwelling people, where the hero comes from, is really out of place, there where no such rainforest tribes around the maya cities.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-May-2009 at 23:50
On the bright side, that's the only movie spoken in Maya I have seen. That's amazing.
Other movie I liked was New World, where the native actors speak Algoquin (I think), the language of Pocahontas. (If I am wrong with the language, please correct me)
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 00:20
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

On the bright side, that's the only movie spoken in Maya I have seen. That's amazing.
 
Yes, one got to give Gibson credit for that. And also the movie was rather exciting with some good cliffhangers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 00:55
The area around Hampton Roads and the mouth of the Chesapeake would seem to be too far south for Algonquin language or culture to have reached.  The Algonquin were principally found in Quebec (Montreal and Trois Rivieres) and west to around Detroit - with some into New York down the Hudson.
 
The Algonquin were a factor in the peltry business in Canada, while the Indians of the Chesapeake were fisherman and subsistence farmers (long enough growing season), as well as hunters.
 
Virginia/Chesapeake = tobacco, corn, beans; Canada = furs. 
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 22-May-2009 at 01:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 01:24
Interesting how this generation fails to accept the marked differences between reality and the objective of the cinema! Be it the fancy Mel Gibson's Apocalypto or Luiz Oliveira's Ubira Jara, both efforts are romanticizations elaborated under the premises of contemporary idealizations...in other words Art (naturally with a tip of the hat to superficial science). Now, it is interesting how some are ready to criticize the visions of the various producers, specially since it is done as a form of apologia for the actual customs, rites, and social mores of the varied Amerinds portrayed. The funny part comes in the silence over the introduction of European concepts of romantic love upon the indigenous groups, regardless of locale. Not that such does not have a long literary tradition--shades of Fenimore Cooper or that opportunist John Smith!
 
For most of the first half of the 20th century, the Maya were caricatured as peaceful, agrarian "intellectuals" so unlike their Meso-American neighbors. The archaeological discoveries at Bonampak put an end to that folderol. Not that other misconceptions are put in their place; e. g. : "there where no such rainforest tribes around the maya cities". Placing aside the misunderstanding of "cities" rather than ceremonial centers within a dispersed agrarian hub, the idea does violence to the actual complexity and overlapping time spans unique to the Maya complex. Nevertheless, the Maya are but one of two peoples to actually develop a form of urbanization within a tropical rainforest ecology.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 01:28
Interesting. In fact, to understand the Mayas it is better to read theirs history. Fortunatelly, a good part of it has been desciphered already, and we can read the sources.
What was found? That the Mayans weren't better or worst than any other civilization of the Ancient times. War, political crimes, displays of pride and power in architecture and power, and all the same things we can find everywhere else.
In short, it has been discovered that Mayans were only humans.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 01:36
Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

The area around Hampton Roads and the mouth of the Chesapeake would seem to be too far south for Algonquin language or culture to have reached.  The Algonquin were principally found in Quebec (Montreal and Trois Rivieres) and west to around Detroit - with some into New York down the Hudson.
 
The Algonquin were a factor in the peltry business in Canada, while the Indians of the Chesapeake were fisherman and subsistence farmers (long enough growing season), as well as hunters.
 
Virginia/Chesapeake = tobacco, corn, beans; Canada = furs. 
 
Sorry, Pike, but the Tidewater and Eastern Shore  tribes were Algonquian speakers divided from their Canadian brethren by the later invasions of the Iroqouians, which were actually pressing the Algonquins at the time of contact, as well as the Siouans of the Piedmont [hence the reason for the Powhatan "Confederacy"]. These three groupings did have distinct cultural traits with the Algonquin representing the earlier society within what became the Virginia colony.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 08:15
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

 
 Not that other misconceptions are put in their place; e. g. : "there where no such rainforest tribes around the maya cities". Placing aside the misunderstanding of "cities" rather than ceremonial centers within a dispersed agrarian hub, the idea does violence to the actual complexity and overlapping time spans unique to the Maya complex. Nevertheless, the Maya are but one of two peoples to actually develop a form of urbanization within a tropical rainforest ecology.
 
In the movie the people of Jaguar paw is portraited as some kind of hunter gatherers. In the period of classical maya time most people round the ceremonial centers, or cities, or whatever one prefers to call them, were agriculturalists.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 08:31
If one want to look at movies about other indigenous peoples in other parts of the world one can watch these two:
 
Rapa Nui, about Easter Island. Also a rather romantisized movie with conflicts, love and adventure. Also comments on environmental destruction a la Jared Diamond:
 
 
Then we have Ofelas (the Pathfinder) about the Saami people in the middle ages. This movie is made by a saami director (Niels gaup) and most of the actors are saami (some of the tjud people are played by others notably the leader which is played by famous icelandic actor Helgi Skulasson who also appeared in many icelandic historical movies). This movie is exciting and retells an old saami tale about how a saami young man tries to save his people from marauding tjuds (the real tjuds were probably people from todays karelia in Finland/Russia):
 
 
 
Here a couple of clips
From Rapa Nui:
 
From Ofelas:
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 13:32

The movie about Rapa Nui is pretty good. I've never seen the other.

"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 14:54
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

In Apocalypto, Whites don't play any major role. Unfortunatelly, the White director, Mel Gibson, a orthodox Catholic, used the movie to spread a loaded message: "pre-columbian cultures were evil". But that's not the main problem with the movie. The main is its historical inacuracy.
 

He also put emphasis on the "noble savage" idea. So in a way, this was a romantic movie!

Civilisation - bad

Living primitively and a peace with nature - good

Civilised people - bad

Child of nature - good.

 

Of course, that depends on how the beach scene is interpreted. Is the Conquistadors a representation of doom? Is it salvation? It is not really clear in the movie.

 

Seems like Gibson had a number of themes he wanted to explore, and he just used the Mayas as a framework to tell his story. To bad he touted the movie as an accurate portrayal of the Maya, because it was anything but.

 

I don't agree that it was a good idea that they spoke a Mayan language. This was probably just some F U attempt to give the movie some verisimilitude, despite all the shortcomings.

 

I would have respected Gibson more if he had just said that it was an action adventure using the Maya as a setting, and nothing more. No need for non-Mayans to learn broken Maya language at all.

 

All in all, a very disappointing movie imho. Even as a straight action movie it wasn't good.
 
I think this movie deserves a mention, Thunderheart. It is loosely based real events.


Edited by Jams - 22-May-2009 at 15:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 15:05
Here is the links to a couple of reviews of Apocalypto:
 
"Traci Ardren, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Miami, knows the Maya well. She has studied Classic Maya society for over 20 years while living in the modern Maya villages of Yaxuna, Chunchucmil, and Espita in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Her credentials include contributing to and editing Ancient Maya Women (2002) and The Social Experience of Childhood in Ancient Mesoamerica (2006). Ardren's reaction to the new film "Apocalypto," follows. Scholars are well aware that some aspects of Maya culture were violent, but Ardren finds fault with what she sees as a pervasive colonial attitude in the film."
 
Is "Apocalypto" Pornography? :
 
 
Andrea Stone, a specialist in Mesoamerican art, particularly the art of the Classic Maya, teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and has carried out fieldwork in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador:
 
Orcs in loincloth - A Mayanist Looks at Apocalypto:
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 15:11
Seriously, I don't think Gibson really cared about the Maya, I think he was much more concerned with his thematic agendas. Going on about the inaccuracies doesn't really mean much, because deep down the movie is not about the Maya at all.
 
By the way, I agree that the first ten minutes of the movie was the best part of the whole movie, but it was just to show us the carefree noble savage ideal human in action, just to contrast with the cruel and corrupted civilised invaders. It was never meant to show us "life among the Mayas".
 
Conclusion - Gibson is a prick.


Edited by Jams - 22-May-2009 at 15:17
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Originally posted by Carcharodon Carcharodon wrote:

Then we have Ofelas (the Pathfinder) about the Saami people in the middle ages. This movie is made by a saami director (Niels gaup) and most of the actors are saami (some of the tjud people are played by others notably the leader which is played by famous icelandic actor Helgi Skulasson who also appeared in many icelandic historical movies).
 
Niels Gaup has made another very interesting movie "The Kautokeino Rebellion" (2008)about events taking place in 1852 when Sami got into conflict with representatives of Norwegian authorities:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 15:23
Originally posted by Jams Jams wrote:

 I think this movie deserves a mention, Thunderheart. It is loosely based real events.
 
A really good movie. I like it a lot.
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-May-2009 at 15:29
Originally posted by Jams Jams wrote:

...By the way, I agree that the first ten minutes of the movie was the best part of the whole movie, but it was just to show us the carefree noble savage ideal human in action, just to contrast with the cruel and corrupted civilised invaders. It was never meant to show us "life among the Mayas".
 
Conclusion - Gibson is a prick.
 
Very good point, Jams. It is very interesting the contrast between civilized and tribal Amerindians, that not many people is aware of. In fact, the attitudes of the Aztecs and Incas, with the natives that had simpler life styles, it is very similar to the attitudes of Europeans with the "savages". There was the same bigotry from the civilized man that believes in its superiority, and the "people of the jungle".
 
Even more, that's the same kind of bigotry that discriminate poor "hillybillies" and separates them from the rest of Americans. The people of the cities have always discriminated the "mountain" people.
 
 
"He who attempts to count the stars, not even knowing how to count the knots of the 'quipus'(counting string), ought to be held in derision."

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