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APOCALYPTO REFLECTION
Apocalypto is an American epic adventure film directed and produced by Mel Gibson. It was written by Gibson and Farhad Safinia. Set in Peten, Guatemala, during the declining period of the Maya civilization, Apocalypto depicts the journey of a Mesoamerican tribesman who must escape human sacrifice and rescue his family after the capture and destruction of his village. The dialogue is in the Yucatec Maya language.
Apocalypto has exceptionally shown the Mayan Civilization and its culture. In the movie, a group of raiding Mayans bent on destroying the village by slicing and dicing their way through its inhabitants. The men who were in good health are captured, chained to long poles, and forced to march to the Mayan temple. The newly captured slaves have only death to look forward to at the end of their trek. Once in the Mayan city, these men are set to be sacrificed to the gods in order to stop the famine and end the spread of disease throughout the land. Their hearts will be carved out and displays to cheers from the mob. Their heads will be chopped off and tossed down the temple stairs, followed shortly by their lifeless bodies. This is how ruthless the Mayan people practice their culture. This is how ruthless they are and how insensitive the have become.
Jaguar Paw prior to being captured was able to lower his pregnant wife and young son into a pit for safekeeping, is determined not to die. He has struggled a lot to stay alive against immeasurable odds. I can compare him to our heroes in the Philippines who fought not for themselves but for others. Real heroes are not based on what they have done but on why they have done it. Life offers us a lot of chances for us to be heroes and it’s up to us if we’re going to grab it or not. Jaguar has never stopped striving for his life and to save his family. Moreover, he has never forgotten to think his fellowmen and what they have been through.
Apocalypto is the film that shows the classic Maya collapse. From watching the film, it really gave me a better understanding of the Maya civilization. They were the people who believed a series of gods controlled the stars. They were very brutal to one another throughout the film. The Aztecs was the ones known to captive the people who was to be sacrificed. When they were captured the males had to make a heart sacrifice where they got their hearts cut out on this stone. The stone was shaped where their backs were arched to make it easier to remove the heart. And the women were put up for sale as slaves and if they were old they were useless. That was a part of them being tortured. The whole process of them being captured was not right at all. Why would they destroy their whole civilization within? I still do not understand that. I really think the conditions that the captured people where it was horrible. But I'm glad to see one. Jaguar Paw was determined to make it back to his family. But towards the end of the movie I noticed that the ships where approaching the beach. They were the Spanish people bringing over more soldiers. To them it was like the Mayan collapse did not exist. I really learned a lot about the Mayan civilization and a lot more about history before the Europeans. It portrayed the way we all are the same but also the cultural view.
The true intent of the movie is to show the cruelty inflicted on the innocent by those believed to be more powerful. It made me realize how fortunate we are with what is happening in our country. We are very lucky that we did not experience this kind of treatment or misfortune. In our country, we also suffered a lot from those who conquered us. Our descendants have been killed without mercy, raped and treated like an animal. But with the case of the Mayans they have passed through hell. They have been captured and their men were killed in front of many people. That is inhumane! But the problem here is because that is their belief. And they would always have strong faith on what they have believed to be true.
Culture has influence us so strong that we all do what we do because of it. We have peaceful traditions, and God-fearing customary practices but it is not in us that we kill other people just to feed our own belief. Although we cannot condemn this Mayan people, our culture have come to a clash. In our culture, we respect each other’s ways while maintaining each other’s morality and dignity but the Mayans do not. They have tortured every inferior person that they see and offer them to their God. They fought on what they have believed in and by that they have brought into immorality culture.
The movie has showcased violence for violence’s sake. It has shown the selflessness of humans. We always seek to be on top, to be higher than others and to be considered superior from those who passed misfortune. But it is time for us to end this. Our world has become so selfish that everyone of us only think the benefits that we receive from things and not on what effect it will have on other people. We Filipinos should be happy for ourselves and be contented with our history and what our culture has offered us. We should be glad that we were not born in the Mayan race that we were born in race of God-fearing and human-loving people.
If I would be one of the Mayan people, I will still have the heart of a Filipino. I would like to change their beliefs. I would campaign for peaceful customary practices. If I would be given a chance to speak out I would fight to these people and show them that there are better ways in expressing their belief and faith to God.
I really enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to those who would love to learn about the Mayan and Aztecs Civilizations, the ones that was destroyed within.

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