Latin-American Studies

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Apocalypto is a 2006 movie that depicts the Native South American tribe the Maya. The movie has had various viewers who appreciated it and cited the movie as interesting and original. The film is easy to understand and is extremely breathtaking. The paper will discuss the basic plot development of this particular film and the setting of the movie. It will also provide a historical overview and critical analysis of the movie.

Deep down the Mayan forest is a tribe that lives peacefully with one another and their neighbors. Men unable to sire undergo mockery and teasing in this community. Jaguar Paw was a man unable to make children first and he becomes subject to constant mockery by his peers and friends. Later, the Chief’s warriors attack their village and he has to fight for his life and in order to save his beloved family. As the plot continues to develop, it is apparent that slaves undergo cruel treatment, as they are dragged away for sacrifice. Jaguar Paw is able to survive and kill the captain’s son before going back to save his family. As the film ends, Jaguar Paw is unable to save his family and they die in their hiding place. The main characters of Apocolypto include Jaguar Paw, the main character, Sky Flower, Seven, Flint Sky, Turtle Run, Smoke Frog and others. The characters in the film harmoniously help in plot development as well as the flow of the story. The setting of the movie is in the Mayan Civilization. Action takes place in the Mayan city, the main character’s village, and i the forest. As the movie continues, it becomes apparent that it was shot in Mexico. The movie depicts an era where slavery and human sacrifice were a common practice among people. Weak tribes became subjects of harassment, torture and eventually death. The movie also depicts the value of the term survival of the fittest. Jaguar Paw, for example, was able to fight for his life and escape in order to save his wife and child. He knew that he had gone through a lot of mockeries and now that he had a child he was not letting it go so easily.

Apocalypto does not clearly differentiate between the good people and the bad ones. Instead, it clearly shows tribal warfare, gathering of resources, view of God, nature, family life and culture. From the film, it is apparent that the native tribes experienced constant tribal warfare between each other. The Mayans were attacked by warriors who had better fighting skills as well as equipment. Most of the tribes did not have peaceful relationship with their neighbors and the weaker tribes become salves of the superior communities. The movie also depicts the importance of land among the natives.

Natives believed that land was a gift from god and that they had to take care of their lands in order to get yields. They also believed in the fact that they had a right to use all the resources that came from their soil. While using the resources that come from the land, they had a duty to take care of the environment in order to have food and water in plenty. Lack of resources from their attackers waas the reason for the violent and sudden attack in the first place. The Mayan tribe also believed in a complete family unit which comprised of a man, a woman and a child. In the family setting, every person had responsibilities and duties to fulfill. A man, for example, offered protection to the family while the woman prepared food and took care of children. In addition, the film depicts the entrance of a higher power that the Mayan referred to as god. For that reason, the warriors that attacked the Mayans later sacrificed people to the gods in order to ask for forgiveness. Finally, the movie depicts the tribe’s culture. One of the social practices is the fact that a man has to take care of his wife and family. He also has to protect his family against all sorts of injustices such as slavery, rape and death.

In conclusion, it is apparent that Apocalypto is a rather original movie; for example, it uses the Mayan language. Although this film is full of violence, its maker was keen to include some sense of humor. The work of art also addresses the manner in which the Mayan tribe speaks. Such uniqueness glues the viewer to the screen for the whole two hours. It is evident that the historical settings and aspects such as a forest, culture, and religion help to further develop the plot. As the film starts, it is apparent that the characters are in their ancestral land, the forest. They live calmly until warriors suddenly attack. This attack is fatal because they lose their families and they are unable to enjoy their cultural, religious and social rights.

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