Saturday, December 30, 2006

Apocalypto - big thumbs up

Opening quote: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." — W. Durant

Jaguar Paw (left) as the movie's hero - close to nature.

Puckpan doesn't see many movies these days. I'm tired of anti-Christian stereotyping and racist propaganda. This movie has none of that. Furthermore there are hints of deep philosophical thematic elements (think Spengler's Decline of the West, or Francis Parker Yockey's Imperium) that have a natural appeal to me.

Forget most of the criticism you see of this movie in the mainstream media and places like Wikipedia. Much of it is fueled by a loathing of director Mel Gibson himself from Jews who despise his traditional Catholicism and his father's questioning of some of the founding myths of the modern American empire - which brings us to the movie. Empire.

Empires and their cities always appear from within to be the height of civilization yet seems (in a longer view) to presage the decline of a civilization. In depicting the forest dwellers (country folk) as peaceful, fertile, and myth affirming - Gibson embraces a vaguely pagan view of humanity inside of nature that I like. The empire - the great Mayan cities which practise slavery, sexual debauchery, and human sacrifice - we see the beginnings of decline - imagery of genetic decline, softness, human exploitation are everywhere.

The leader of the Mayan raiders (Zero Wolf) is a strikingly handsome and strong American actor/dancer (former founding member of the Alvin Nicolides modern dance troupe) Raoul Trujillo.

The reviewer Michael Medved called the movie " adrenaline-drenched chase movie.." He is correct in that assessment - but the movie has a deeper level on which it is profound. Medved's view is always in the fore (obviously Gibson's film has to succeed at the box office - and a Mayan version of Lethal Weapon is a proven formula).

A final note (WARNING: spoiler here - stop reading if you intend to see the movie) - at the very end of the movie's central chase (and essentially the end of the movie itself) - the chased (Jaguar Paw) and his chasers are dumbstruck when they arrive on a beach to see the first wave of Spanish missionaries arriving by ship. This totally changes the mood of the movie from savagery, heathen, violence to calm. Everything stops. A change is coming. Gibson presents this without judgement - simply as history.

Nowadays we are taught to see the arrival of missionaries as the end of a peaceful, nature-centric civilization - taught that the Christian missionaries brough violence, exploitation, disease. But what in fact arrived by boat was salvation from these things. Modern history is taught by people with an anti-Christian agenda. It is the threat to this new mythology that makes Gibson's movie so hated by America's elites.



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