However with the release of the film, there was created a huge controversy; with the native Americans, social activists, and various archaeologists working on Mayan civilization, protesting the representation of the Mayan people in this movie “as violent and depraved” (ibid). In his defense Mel Gibson had commented that this movie is not really historical, and uses the Mayan civilization as “merely the backdrop [that was required for representing] civilizations and what undermines them” (Johnson, 2005). In my article I will explore the controversy that started at the time of the release of the movie, and review the various commentaries and statements made by the archaeologists at this time about the inaccuracies that were evident in the movie. My article will also do a brief review of the movie, and study the Mayan civilization, to understand the misrepresentations that were supposedly made in this film. After exploring and analyzing the various facts and information surrounding this controversy, I will finally come to a conclusion as to whether the Maya archaeologists are really justified in their condemnation of the movie Apocalypto.
A brief review of the movie: The movie starts with the above given quote by Durant, allegorically referring to the fall of the Mayan empire at the hands of the Spaniards. Directed by Mel Gibson, this movie stars Rudy Youngblood as the male protagonist (whose screen name is Jaguar Paw), and it purportedly depicts the last phase of the Mayan civilization. The movie is set in the 16th century pre Columbian era; before the Spanish invasion had conquered and destroyed evidences of this ancient Native American civilization.
At the start of the movie we find Jaguar Paw hunting in the forests along with his father Flint Sky (village head) and other members of his tribe. Here they meet a group of fleeing refugees, whose lands had been ravaged by their enemies, and their state of distress and fear leave a strong