Apocalypto and the Passing of the Mayan Civilization

by Pranay Rupani - Date: 2008-07-31 - Word Count: 338 Share This!

The film depicts the life of Jaguar Paw a hunter of a local village community and tells the story of the decline of the Mayan Empire through narrating two days of his life. According to the rituals and culture shown the period of the film may be estimated to be in the eighth to tenth century B.C. historically the events, buildings and cultural practices portrayed in the film are debatable but the decline of a civilization due to excessive consumption and ecological destruction point to change and conflict due to the changes.

The film is set in the latter half of the Iron Age and takes a look at a similar situation emerging in India a thousand years ago with the advent of Buddhism and Jainism where excesses and wealth have created an uncomfortable sense of greed and thirst for power. Brahminism dominates the functioning of daily life in the form of a very stringent caste system, allegorically the film relates to this by showing the sacrifice rituals performed by the high priests in front of the temple to please the Sun God and satisfy his thirst for blood. The upper class Mayan's are opulent and seem to want even more luxury whereas the lower classes are ridden with disease and poverty. The Mayans made their pyramids using plaster and limestone which needed mass level destruction of the forests leading to an impending disaster which can be compared to the beginning of the deforestation process of the Ganges plains after the Indo-Aryan migration.

The conflict of ways of life is not very starkly seen in the film as Mayans are shown attacking other forest dwelling Mayans to enslave them for working to make more temples and offering more sacrifices. In a scientific sense the arrival of the missionaries at the end can be the real conflict of culture which will later go on to have long lasting effects on the regions of Latin America.

ProVFX Visual Effects and Editing School has been written by Pranay Rupani who is a Freelance Writer

Related Tags: bollywood, hindi movies, bollywood movies, bollywood hindi movies, hindi films, hindi cinema, hindi film culture, hindi movie culture, bollywood culture, bollywood films, indian cinema, indian films, madhava prasad, indain film psychology, bollywood genres, hindi genres

Freelance writer for MetroMela and Channel 6 Magazine. Managing partner of ProVFX Visual Effects and Editing School.

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