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
The film makes reference to three voyages, stating that the second voyage was the one in which Columbus fell out of favor; the epilogue says that Columbus took a third and final voyage to America. Actually, Columbus made four voyages. The second voyage tarnished Columbus's reputation, but it was the third voyage which proved to be his downfall. 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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Director Ridley Scott and writer Roselyne Bosch play fast and loose with historical accuracy in this white-washed telling of Christopher Columbus' adventures.
Rather than seeing the Columbus of history plundering other lands in search of gold while brutally enslaving and mass murdering the natives, we are presented with a kind, gentle, benign Columbus (portrayed by the surrealistically cast Gérard Depardieu) who's surrounded by unscrupulous characters. Scott's Columbus is an idealistic visionary who only wants "a new world," yet is a pawn caught between bad people doing bad things. Poor Columbus ... all he wants to do is explore.
Of course, this calls for *a lot* of historical revisionism for the screenplay, which re-arranges events and the instigators of them (atrocities are shifted to the work of others rather than Columbus, and for different reasons; otherwise, it's omitted from the story).
But why fictionalize history (reality is always more interesting) with this pabulum, and then pass it off as "history"? Either no research was done, or they intentionally fabricated the story; there is no other option.
"Life has more imagination than we carry in our dreams," we are told just before the closing credits. Indeed. Too bad the writer didn't follow this advice. The truth would have made far better drama.
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