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Big budget account of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas. Released in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery. Shows the disastrous effects the Europeans had on the original inhabitants, and Columbus' struggle to civilize the New World. Written by
Screenwriter Rose Bosch got the idea for the project when she discovered millions of untranslated parchments while researching an article on Columbus. After joining forces with a French film executive, she finally found an interested director in Ridley Scott, who had always wanted to make a movie about Columbus. Scott agreed to direct the film on one condition: Columbus must be played by Gérard Depardieu. Depardieu was contacted, and eager to take the part. See more »
When explaining navigation to Mendez, about 38 min in, Columbus states "a mistake of one degree, and we will be off 600 leagues." In fact, a mistake of one degree would result in a deviation of 60 nautical miles, about 20 leagues. See more »
Young Fernando Columbus:
Of all the words my father wrote - and there were many - I remember these the most: "Nothing that results from human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. And those who are enlightened before the others are condemned to persue that light in spite of others."
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I first saw this movie in 1992 after hearing that I had missed something special from a friend who did see it in the theater. As one always interested in history since childhood, I looked into the history portrayed in this excellent film. Actually, it is adopted from Columbus's son's own memoirs and what is factually known. Columbus did strike out to find Asia, we all know that. But he actually did become idealistic and wish to create a New World for those weary of the old - and many were. This theme continued right into the development of the U.S., which may (or may not) be the best example of that intention. What many do not realize is how much this history intersects with the Knights Templar's search for a place to headquarter permanently after loosing it's hold in Europe in 1307-14. Sound crazy? Check the details! In Spain, the Templars were converted into an order called "Knights of Christ" and retained that famous cross that everyone is familiar with as present on the Santa Maria, but with no understanding. Prince Henry the Navigator was one and Columbus was made one. There is new (old) evidence that French Templars who settled in Scotland after 1314 made it to what is now Rhode Island (two archaeological evidences exist there, as well as evidence in Scotland). Some theorize (and this is much more theory than the aforementioned) that the hole on Oak Island was a stash created by the French Templars of the mysterious treasury that never has quite been accounted for and has given rise to numerous theories of Templars treasures in France and elsewhere. (Even the book
The Da Vinci Code utilizes parts of this foil in its plot). If you
traced it truly, the diligent researcher will find that the Templars had its continuance as the Freemasonic brotherhood. The U.S. was founded by intention by French, American, and yes, British Masons. A strange coincidence? What has this to do with Columbus? Am I way off the subject. Well, no,... I would argue. That this movie is a visual and auditory masterpiece is without question. That the acting is everywhere from adequate to brilliant, (yes, who could play Moxica better, and how can anyone seeing this movie in English be so arrogant to complain that Depardieu has a French accent??) Columbus used the plans of Da Vinci (is a light going on?) for an ideal city for his ideal New World. That he had problems with his ideals becoming reality is more than commonplace for anyone who has tried to do something extraordinary, but especially when power is involved. His plan had to fail, even the weather was against it. No one in Europe understood hurricanes then.
I could go on, but there are dozens of points of historical discussion that this film prompts, including a thorough study of the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformation, the history of "Witch Trials" anti-Semitism in Europe, The Thirty Year War and the Wars of Religion, The Age of Reason, the rise of Science, etc., etc., etc! What a film packed with potential historical departures this is!! I pity those who miss all this richness.
When I read such negative reviews by those who claim the history is all wrong, I wonder what stereotype of history they think they were taught. It is no surprise to me that they seem to think the scene with the orange was about an orange! They didn't pay attention to this film long enough to understand the simplest scene! I gather they don't really pay much attention to history either, but have popular historical assumptions that they have been fed or imagined. This is a film that ought to be shown in every classroom in the New World as well as Europe, if nowhere else. And for those who claim they were bored - rent an Arnold shoot-em up and stay home during elections, your opinion is just that valuable.
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