A Critical & Comparative Review of La Otra Conquista
In history, there are two sides to every story – the side of the “victor” and that of the “loser.” Often times, historical interpretations of past events and eras have an altered or biased view of the world that fails to rightfully acknowledge those who had been oppressed or conquered – those on the “losing” side. The film, La Otra Conquista, aims to dispel myths and hyperbolic interpretations of the Spanish conquest of the Americas that place the Spanish as the only winners. Using emotionally driven cinematography (with a killer soundtrack to match) and an almost painfully accurate portrayal of historical events, the writer and director Salvador Carrasco enlightens his viewers to “the other conquest,” and opens their minds to the several underlying themes conscious during the conquest. By means of symbolism, the film explores an overarching sense duality, parallelism, and resistance found among the two cultures – a friction between two competing interests that fear, as the plot illustrates, that they are not too different after all. Within this context of duality, the film occupies the role of historical revisionist seeking to reinterpret the conquest as one event with two distinctly separate outcomes. Furthermore, the film uses historical reference to comment on the role of women, bureaucracy, and interpretation/language in Colonial Latin America. The following analysis will explore the topics central not only to the film itself, but to the era. The Popl Vuh, or the “definitive Mayan bible,” outlines the story of a people’s creation. This creation myth, much unlike that found in the Christian bible places a strong emphasis on aspects of duality that are so common among this Earth – notions of good and bad, light and dark, man and woman, etc. that suggest a common humanity. The film outlined several of these notions, highlighting the importance in the similarities and differences between Catholicism and...
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