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RECLAIMING HISTORY FROM MEL GIBSON

January 27th, 2007     by Nicole Cohen     Comments

Hip-hop crew El Vuh has posted a track called Apocalypto, named for Mel Gibsons most recent epic. The track addresses the racism in the film, which portrays Maya people as brutally savage, and depicts them killing each other before the Europeans arrived, essentially justifying colonialism’s “saving” of the Mayans from themselves.

The track is a good challenge to the overwhelmingly apolitical reviews of the film. As Juan Santos writes in an excellent piece that exposes the film’s racism, politics and historical inaccuracies, [Gibsons] portrayal is a conscious lie, one he uses to justify the premise that the Mayan city states collapsed because they deserved to collapse, and that they deserved to be replaced by a superior culture in the genocide known as the Conquest.

Tags: arts, media savvy

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