Peter Bart on Apocalypto, Gibson and Tolerance


Peter Bart poses a provocative question in today’s Variety: can Mel Gibson’s work be judged fairly?

Bart writes:

From Mel Gibson’s dark, troubled mind has emerged yet another brilliant exercise in filmmaking, extremely violent, yet compelling. The inner demons that play havoc with his personal life continue to energize his creative vision.

is counting down the days ’til the opening, so there must be some audience out there.

Bart’s predictions are probably accurate, if gloomy:

A fiercely original work like this normally would be screened and promoted for Oscar nominations and critics plaudits. This will not be the case with Gibson’s film.

FBLA thinks that David Hiller at the LA Times might pay attention to this film, if he’s serious about reaching the Latino audience. The Spanish-speaking audience in the US and Latin America responded warmly to The Passion of the Christ, even as Hollywood shunned it.

Of course, Gibson can never hope to please one crowd–MesoAmerican scholars. But they’re never satisfied.