Friday, December 29, 2006

Apocalypto: To Boycott or Not to Boycott

This week I went to the theatre and missed the last showing of Pursuit of Happyness. At my brother's suggestion, I acquiesced to watching Apocalypto, a film directed by Mel Gibson. To be brief, I'll simply say the movie was phenomenal. But I couldn't help but feel a little out of touch with the struggle when money exchanged hands and supported a movie whose director is renowned for anti-Semitism. This coupled with my enjoyable viewing experience makes for somewhat of a moral conundrum. To what extent do we have a moral responsibility to protest/boycott a Mel Gibson or Kramer when we aren't Jewish or Black, respectively?

I wonder about the largely Latino and Native American cast in this film whose exceptional performance may go unappreciated because their director is anti-Semitic. As we become more and more intelligent, we are required to find more effective ways to protest injustice. If Mel Gibson invites me to his house party, I'll pass. If he wants to shake my hand in person, I'll refuse. If he makes a movie that fosters anti-Semitism, I'll be the first to protest. But for all we know to be true about Mel Gibson, this film has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. It's a film that is rich with unfamiliar faces, remarkable scenery, and exceptional actors. Definitely one of the better movies I've seen this year.

1 comment:

Brother Spotless said...

This question may force a lot of people to think about all of the music, movies and TV they entertain themselves with; that's a can of worms not many wish to open.

The Richards' situation is a bit different than Gibson's, in that Richards sees a much smaller percentage of the profit from Seinfeld than Gibson sees from Apocalypto. But the two are similar enough to be answered the same way.

I need more info on this. Has Gibson made an attempt to reconcile with the Jewish community? Not that he'd even mean it, but apologizing and continuing to work toward reconciliation may help to aleviate some of the moral apprehension I feel about watching Apocalypto...