Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Other Conquest |
La Otra Conquista
Actors: Elpidia Carrillo, Josefina Echanove, Guillermo Rios, Inaki Aierra, Diana Bracho
Director: Salvador Carrasco
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests
Studio: Starz/sphe Release Date: 10/16/2007
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A Stunning Achievement!
Mr. Fellini | El Paso, Texas United States | 10/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason the Spanish Conquest, no doubt one of the most important interchanges of culture in history, has not received the kind of cinematic attention as other events such as Rome, Christ or even Vietnam. Mexican director Salvador Carrasco does us a great service here with "The Other Conquest," a visually stunning, powerful take on Hernan Crotes' conquest of Mexico and the consequences of the event which still affect us to this day.
Unlike many historical epics such as "Gladiator," where substance and character take a back seat to spectacle and bombast, "The Other Conquest" is impressive because of its emotional depth and dramatic qualities. Damian Delgado (Men With Guns) gives a riveting performance as Topiltzin, an Aztec scribe who sees his world burn down as foreign invaders raid the Aztec lands, destroy their gods and impose the new religion of Catholicism. Representing the Catholic church is Friar Diego (Jose Carlos Rodriguez) who attempts with all his might to turn Topiltzin into a model Catholic indian. The scenes between these two are sharply written and Carrasco's script has a clear understanding of the spiritual, intellectual struggle of one religion trying to wipe out another one. The other two notable performances are by Elpidia Carrillo (Salvador, Predator) as Tecuichpo, daughter of the slain Aztec Emperor Moctezuma, and Inaki Aierra as the famed conqueror Hernan Cortes (Aierra is the spitting image of the controversial figure). Both also bring passionate intensity to the roles, one could even say raising the bar for the kinds of performances you usually find in historical epics.
There is excellent conflict in the story because this is not a tale of revenge or one army trying to destroy another, here we have actual human beings caught in the tide of history, a history that is deeply touching their personal lives and well-being. This is the only film I can recall that captures on a deep human level the results of the Spanish Conquest. We don't get cartoon characters here. The lush cinematography adds to the effect with it's rich colors and gritty tones. Jorge Reyes and Samuel Zyman's beautiful score is hypnotic and elevates the material, it is a potent mix of classical and indigenous music that transports us to the era of the story with full effect.
"The Other Conquest" is a kind of alternative to the blood spectacle that was Mel Gibson's "Apocalypto" which concentrated itself more on being a chase movie with little educational or even dramatic value. Here Carrasco and his team have captured a real sense of authenticity in showing us the Aztec world, it's customs, traditions and those of the Spanish invaders as well. "The Other Conquest" is also a relevant film for our times considering events like Iraq have once again raised the question of one culture imposing itself on another. Even those wondering about the rise of figures like Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales in Latin America will see in this story the roots of the social conditions which have brought about these changes and movements. "The Other Conquest" is a grand epic, but a grand epic with heart and a story that has more to it than just the glossy re-creations of a world long gone. A very special film, not to miss.
Depth and Excitement
Sarvi Sheybany | Los Angeles, CA | 12/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In case you missed it in the theaters, here's a great opportunity to see this engaging film. The DVD extras, including omitted scenes that show some of the events after the main narrative, help make the DVD well worth buying.
Visually gorgeous, with well-chosen music, this movie really grabs you. Since the basic story, of a young Aztec's inventive resistance to Spanish colonization, is so exciting, the movie works just as a gripping story, but there's a lot more to it if you're of a philosophical bent. It doesn't answer all the questions it poses.
One thing I particularly liked was the totally unconventional handling of the main characters -- the hero of the story starts off where most movie heroes end up -- with a strong sense of personal pride and certainty. He ends up questioning that, and finding a new, much richer and more complex understanding of his place in the world. Also, the women in this film are incredibly strong and interesting, really 3-dimensional.
This movie works on a lot of levels -- it's a historical drama as well as a stirring allegory about resistance -- and it's also a quite profound piece about the ways in which a person's deepest sense of self can be found in times of extreme duress. It's a great history lesson that avoids all the usual idiotic cliches, and like all history lessons it's also remarkably relevant to the present day.
Beautifully produced and very highly recommended
Midwest Book Review | Oregon, WI USA | 11/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Topiltzin is an Aztec survivor of the Spanish invasion of 1502 where his people and culture have been ruthlessly destroyed at the hands of Hernando Cortes and his Conquistadores in the name of Christianity. Topiltzin is the murdered Moctezuma's illegitimate son. Refusing to surrender to the Spanish, he struggles to preserve the cult of Tonantzin and adapt to a hostile new order imposed by raging battles and ruthless suppression. In the end, he is alone, depressed, and gravely ill. As fever-born hallucinations merge Christian and Aztec imagery together in the mind of Topiltzin, the viewers come to understand the complex and ambiguous origins of a new hybrid Latino culture that would come to be called "Mestizo', and which would still be a part of Mexican culture some five centuries later. Beautifully produced and very highly recommended for personal viewing and community library DVD collections, "The Other Conquest" is filmed in Spanish and Nahuatl (with English subtitles), and has a total running time of 105 minutes. The DVD format allows for the addition of special features including a featurette with cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes from the theatrical release, and a director's commentary."