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Monday, November 20, 2017

Apocalypto Again

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto

I wrote a number of posts on Apocalypto, but the most important is:
... I have come across some contrary opinions that are decidedly strange. In we see by Sean O'Connell.

The director precedes Apocalypto with a cryptic quote by philosopher Will Durant: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." Since the quote has nothing, in context, to do with the film, I’ll assume it refers to Gibson himself.

The critic seems not to have the slightest sense that the film is a critique of violence.

... When he [Durant] says a civilization destroys itself from within, what does he mean? What are the details and specifics in this destruction?...

...Mr. Durant lived through World War I. I would guess his age to be around 28 to 35 at the outbreak of the war. World War I was total carnage. It profoundly shocked the generations alive at the time. We have become inured to carnage. We dismiss WWI because we believe our own time deserves the Palme d'Or for killing. The illustrious Arnold Toynbee made it very clear in his extensive historical work that one favorite method by which civilizations destroy themselves is violence. Constant wars which deplenish the commonweal; strife within the society between classes or groups therein; these are the true destroyers of civilization. Hence, the point of the quote is that civilizations will suicide from an overdose of violence.

Violence; whether it be wars or internal strife; riots or mass shootings.
Weapons and violence will be the death of us, so the film says.


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