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Juan Mora Catlett
It is May 1520 in the vast Aztec Empire one year after the Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortés' arrival in Mexico. "The Other Conquest" opens with the infamous massacre of the Aztecs at the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan [what is now called Mexico City]. The sacred grounds are covered with the countless bodies of priests and nobility slaughtered by the Spanish Armies under Cortés' command. The lone Aztec survivor of the massacre is a young Indian scribe named Topiltzin [Damián Delgado]. Topiltzin, who is the illegitimate son of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma, survives the onslaught by burying himself under a stack of bodies. As if awakening from a dream, the young man rises from among the dead to find his mother murdered, the Spanish in power and the dawn of a new era in his native land. A New World with new leaders, language, customs... and God. Representing the New Order is the Spanish Friar Diego [José Carlos Rodríguez]. His mission is to convert the "savage" natives into civilised ... Written by
Dennis Davidson Associates (DDA)
This film explores the relationships between politics, religion, spirituality, and culture, focusing on some true and some fabricated events of the Spanish invasion of the Aztecs. Biting, the film charges with the idea that the nature of culture and the strength of a highly traditional belief system is not conquerable. Stressing the strength and perseverance of the human will, the film yields unforgettable images, some that stress the deep connection between humanity and religion. One immortal image is of a statue of the Virgin Mary being carefully supported down from a high place with ropes. In this image, the true condition of organized religion is viewed; one that is undeniably buttressed by the will of the people.
With this powerful look at cross-cultural interactions and the strong statements about the role of the missionary, the movie grips its audience, leaving us with a feeling that all human beliefs are related and filtered by our very similar eyes. The message that this movie sends about religious disputes is one of great importance and even greater shrewdness on the part of the movie's creators.
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