ARTYFACTS: Apocalypto

Thursday, January 18, 2007


First serious film of the year and what a start. No English, very little dialogue but it never slows or stutters in its relentless pursuit of its genocidal theme. It is relentlessly violent but that’s the point. Genocide and Aztec sacrifice were not pretty. From the opening hunt scene you are drawn into the world of the jungle and actually feel agrophobic when the temple town is reached. Stunning.

History is junk
The history is all a bit out of synch mixing Aztecs with Mayans and the final landing of the Spaniards could be open to criticism. The film was shot in Mexico using the Mayan dialect, yet the violence is really Aztec. This is a shame, as it would have been easy to fix this at script stage. The Mayans, however, were not without their violent streak. I can vividly remember visiting the sacred pool at Chichenitsa and reading about the hundreds of bones dredged from the bottom – the bones of young sacrificed girls. The firm is magnificent.

11th January


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