Jonathon Fessenden

Jan 18, 2024

"Apocalypto" and Mel Gibson

Making Masterpieces out of Crooked Timbers with Broken Tools

New Books Network 2024

The 2006 Mel Gibson movie, Apocalypto, takes us into a decadent Maya civilization in the Yucatan on the eve of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. It could be a commentary on ancient Rome or the present-day US, but, because it is a new world for both the viewer and the forest-dwelling protagonists, we get to see it through ‘new eyes’ and a ‘beginner’s mind.’ It’s a great movie, a cinematic masterpiece. It also allows us to ask how Mel Gibson, a devout Catholic and such a human sinner—as we all are, though when he does something terrible it’s in the news—should proclaim the Gospel after he has fallen from his moral pedestal a few times. We also ask about how the Church should proceed given her many painful scandals. It was a great discussion on the Missio Dei podcast on YouTube and I’m delighted to share it here.

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Krzysztof Odyniec

Krzysztof Odyniec is a historian of Medieval and Early Modern Europe; he is also the host of the 'Almost Good Catholics' podcast.

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