I wasn't sure what to expect before I saw this film. In actuality, I wasn't sure I wanted to see the film. After watching the preview, I didn't know if it would interest me. I am a big fan of Mel Gibson's Braveheart and i think that his direction in Passion of the Christ was good, although a bit gory. This weekend I decided to check out the new AMC theatre in Roseville and decided to hit up the film. Again, I think it is evident along with this film that Gibson certainly knows how to direct a film. The story was very interesting and utterly enjoyable if the bloodshed isn't too much to handle. Based on the decline of the Mayan Empire, there is enough action in the film to keep you interested, although at times it might seem like too much. As I was watching the film, I decided to evaluate the role of women in the film.
All of the women in the film were of Mayan culture, placed sometime around their initial interaction with mankind. The costumes were stereotypical of the time period. The women were often shown with essentially nothing covering the upper part of their bodies. They stayed at the encampment with the children as the men go off to hunt for food. The main story with a woman comes, however, when the Mayan camp is overtaken by another tribe and all of the women are killed off and most of the men are caught and forced to accompany the enemy tribe. Jaguar Paw, who is the main character in the film, manages to hide his pregnant wife and child in a cave that is probably anywhere from fifty to one hundred feet below ground. One of the enemy indians cuts the rope before they leave, which trapts them down there helpless to get out. The men are meant to be sacrificed at a ritual, but Jaguar Paw gets away. Meanwhile, the woman basically sits there with her child and in some ways trys to escape the cave, but is unsuccessful. An interesting note, however, is that the wife of Jaguar Paw manages to protect her and her son by killing a wild animal that falls into the hole. As the cave is flooding later on in the film, she also manages to keep herself, her son, and a new born child above water just as the husband returns. I think this at least shows that the woman was capable of protecting her family. She was not completely helpless. Most films might contradict this notion, and although she certainly wouldn't have survived had her husband not returned, she was capable of prolonging the lives of her children. I think Gibson does a fairly adequate job of portraying the values of family, and I think that the beliefs and family values are the strongpoint in the film.