Something I Just Realized: Apocalypto

Some of you may have seen Apocalypto, Mel Gibsons portrait of madness and brutality in a Mayan civilization. If you haven’t seen it watch it before you read this because there are some slight spoilers, and because Mel might hunt you down and force you to watch if he finds out…
Apocalypto is beautiful, wild, and violent, and it’s probably the best depiction of the Mayans we have on film (even though I’ve heard there are innacuracies).
But there’s one part in particular I want to talk about. Specifically the part where the heads are rolling down the pyramid stairs, with the Mayan royalty at the top of the pyramid and the masses crowding at the bottom waiting to get some head… Now I’m not sure if this is known, I didn’t realize it until a few viewings, probably because I was so shocked and distracted with the rolling heads, but I recently realized something (which again I hope everyone didn’t figure this out right away but either way…). During the head chopping an eclipse happens. The public freaks out. Then the eclipse ends and everyone’s happy with the royal Mayans at the top of the pyramid and their awesome head chopping which clearly pleases the sun.
At first this slipped by me, but I remembered that Mayans were awesome astronomers…then I figured that the royal head choppers at the top of the pyramid had to know that the eclipse was going to happen. They knew the whole time! They’re just playing crazy political mind games with the ignorant Mayan masses to get them under their royal thumbs. Again, you may have seen this right away, I believe I was distracted by the ridiculous facial peircings and hairstyles sported by the princesses, or maybe I was just fixated on the really chubby kid for being so chubby in such a non-chubby era. Never picked up on how devious astronomers can be…
Gives the bad guys a layer of clever evilness that really brings their sacrificial head chopping to the next level. Makes me appreciate Mel going full Riggs on our asses.
If you like Apocalypto, or are surprised that I’m dumb enough to just realize this now, please leave a comment, and thanks for reading…
Photo Credit: Snagged from itcher.com
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