Apocalypto (2006)

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Apocalypto is a 2006 American epic historical adventure film produced, co-written, and directed by Mel Gibson. The film features a cast of Native American and Indigenous Mexican actors consisting of Rudy Youngblood, Raoul Trujillo, Mayra Sérbulo, Dalia Hernández, Ian Uriel, Gerardo Taracena, Rodolfo Palacios, Bernardo Ruiz Juarez, Ammel Rodrigo Mendoza, Ricardo Diaz Mendoza, and Israel Contreras. All of the ethnic tribes and peoples depicted in the film were Maya, as Gibson wanted to depict the Maya city built for the story as an "unknown world" to the character. Similar to Gibson's earlier film The Passion of the Christ, all dialogue is in a modern approximation of the ancient language of the setting. Here, the Indigenous Yucatec Maya language is spoken with subtitles, which sometimes refer to the language as Mayan. This was the last film Gibson directed until 2016's Hacksaw Ridge ten years later.

Set in Yucatán, Mexico, around the year 1502, Apocalypto portrays the hero's journey of a young man named Jaguar Paw, a late Mesoamerican hunter and his fellow tribesmen who are captured by an invading force. After the devastation of their village, they are brought on a perilous journey to a Mayan city for human sacrifice at a time when the Maya civilization is in decline. The film was a box office success, grossing over $120 million worldwide, and received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising Gibson's direction, Dean Semler's cinematography, and the performances of the cast, though the portrayal of Mayan civilization and historical accuracy were criticized. This film was distributed by Buena Vista Pictures in North America and Icon Film Distribution in United Kingdom and Australia.