Harjo: Mel Gibson makes his own Macacalypto
"Mel Gibson's ''Apocalypto'' is a pretty good yarn with some great-looking people, beautiful Mayan jungles and expert cinematography.

If the movie were about fictional creatures - some humanoid, some not - in a galaxy far, far away, I might want to cheer on the good guys and boo-hiss the bad ones.

But this movie is not meant to be about fictional creatures.

It claims to be about historic Mayan peoples, who are portrayed as such sadistic monsters and repellent zombies that the audience is invited to hate them, which is a dangerous invitation where the most oppressed people are the Indians.

The movie characters range from dimwitted thugs and inbred royalty to village idiots and simple forest folk.

Hollywood directors have been dismantling the reality of Native peoples for so long that most filmmakers and movie goers don't quite perceive that there's a problem with turning living and historical figures into fictional characters.

The positive reviews of ''Apocalypto'' - yes, my relatives, there are some favorable reviews - have asked readers to forget everything they know about Gibson and his anti-Jewish, sexist diatribes and consider the movie as a movie.

I tried to do that and to attend a press screening.

A woman in the office of a Disney P.R. man with the last name of Bogus was cheerfully taking my information, until I said I was with Indian Country Today. She abruptly left the call for many minutes and returned with a changed demeanor."

Get the Story:
Suzan Shown Harjo : Macacalypto (Indian Country Today 1/19)

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