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The conquest of Latin America by the Catholic Church and the consequences of it for today's religious life in that region.

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The conquest of Latin America by the Catholic Church and the consequences of it for today's religious life in that region.

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1999 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Werner Herzog Episode
21 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

Just a couple of days ago I found out that Werner Herzog had directed one of the documentaries/episodes from the '2000 Years in Christianity' series. Coincidentally, tonight by sheer luck I happened to (unknowingly) catch it on TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network) while I was channel surfing.

The documentary showed small villages/towns in Latin America and how their inhabitants have created unique hybrid rituals between Christianity and their Aztec/Mayan heritage. Afterwards, I was shocked to find out during the end credits that this was directed by Werner Herzog!

Pretty awesome, especially since I'm a huge fan of Werner's and own most of his work. I was wondering if I'd ever get a chance to watch this? So I guess God heard my prayers! LOL.

Regarding the actual documentary; I saw about 3/4 of it, just having missed the first 10 or 15 minutes. The quality wasn't great, as it wasn't shot on film or HD. Just like an ordinary home video camera, very likely DV. Unfortunately, unlike the rest of Herzog's docs, he didn't do his own narration and used someone else instead. I think it would've worked in his favor if he had done his own narrating. I love hearing Werner speak, and I think he's naturally gifted in verbally expressing his thoughts and passions on his docs.

Overall, it seemed too amateurish, and personally felt it lacked research, as it asked many questions but never tried answering them. Also, it highly misrepresented the Catholic Church, as the narrator kept reminding us that these people were "Catholic" every time they'd perform a strange ritual.

I wish the narrator would've mentioned how these practices are NOT approved by the Catholic Church, and thus NOT actually Catholic. I never saw an actual priest during these rituals, which makes me believe that these people were performing these devotions on their own.

I gave it a 6/10. (FYI, I'm likely being a bit generous as I love Werner and am a student of Christian theology and Church history.)


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