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Critics hail it as a “masterpiece” – one of the wildest adventure films in recent memory, now streaming on Prime Video

The American film ‘Apocalypto’ (2006), directed by Oscar-winning director Mel Gibson, stands as a Raw and visceral testimony that transports the viewer to the pre-Columbian era of the Mayans. The plot follows Jaguar Paw, played by Rudy Youngblood, who fights to survive after witnessing the brutal sacking of his village and the sacrifice of his family at the hands of the invaders. The narrative delves into a harrowing journey of survival and revenge, showing the protagonist’s struggle to preserve his lineage and face the adversities of a hostile and ruthless world. The film is currently available in the Amazon Prime Video catalog.

In terms of recognition, ‘Apocalypto’ got three Academy Award nominations in the categories of Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound and Best Sound Effects, but failed to win the Oscar in any of them. It also unsuccessfully obtained a nomination for the Golden Globes in the category of Best Foreign Language Film, in the same way that happened at the BAFTAs, where the film was nominated in the same category but could not win the award either.

From a technical point of view, the film stands out for the impressive cinematography of Dean Semler, which captures the Lush jungle landscapes and vast natural settings with a raw and realistic beauty. The art direction and production design are also noteworthy, recreating in detail the culture and aesthetics of the Mayan civilization, from their clothing to their impressive architectural structures.

The film’s cast is headed by unknown performers of Mexican descent as Rudy Youngblood, who plays the lead role of Jaguar Claw, whose compelling and physical performance earned him critical acclaim. At his side are Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Trujillo, Dalia Hernández and Mayra Sérbulo, who provide depth and authenticity to their respective characters, giving the story emotional and cultural richness.

The review of Fotogramas de ‘Apocalypto’ highlighted Mel Gibson’s work behind the cameras, referring to him in the following terms: “Drunk with inventiveness, Gibson unfolds before our eyes a sadomasochistic (of bizarre tenderness) hyperrealistic dream of a wild and ruthlessly beautiful culture of precolonial America. Captivating orgy of the senses that allows itself the luxury of almost eliminating dialogue in its final hour: the stalking of the protagonist and his pregnant partner in the heart of darkness. As always in the controversial alter ego of Mad Max, his fulfilled aesthetic demands run parallel to an individualistic reaffirmation happily branded as reactionary,” adding that “If there is a discourse in this masterpiece, it is classic and reflective: survival in a hostile environment (natural, political, conceptual).”.

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