The Other Conquest - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Other Conquest Reviews

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September 12, 2012
Maybe. Maybe not.
Aztecs not my thing
June 9, 2012
Before Apocalypto was La Otra Conquista
May 29, 2011
The budget really affects the story in a heavily negative way in that it prompts me to say this: If you do not have the money to tell a story about subject matter that could be incredibly exciting, then there's no sense in telling it. The Aztecs are such a rich and beautiful culture but they are misrepresented here and portrayed as short weakling dummies. The movie was shot on location in probably Teotihuacan which has nothing to do with the Aztecs with the exception that the Aztecs highly praised and thought that Teotihuacan was the city of gods. Most likely this city was inhabited by the Olmecs. This concept needed a large Hollywood sized budget to make the sets and generate special effects shots that would take us into the time period when scumbag Cortes destroyed an amazing culture....I'm sorry this looks like a great student film that can't cut the mustard as a professional production and because of this cannot immerse it's audience into it's boring slow paced overly dramatic story.
April 3, 2011
This is a beautifully-made film with some striking features and a unique story. It is the best film made on the Spanish conquest of Mexico, combining rich storytelling with powerful images and memorable performances.

Director Salvador Carrasco focuses on the human side of a major historical event, presenting characters that transport us back in time to a moment where radically different cultures met, clashed and molded together to form a new society. Damian Delgado is unforgettable as the Aztec scribe Topiltzin, who finds his world changed forever when the Spanish arrive, smash the old empire and impose a new religion. Elpidia Carrillo is full of strength and heartache in her portrayal of Tecuichpo, sister of the fallen Montezuma, now the trophy wife of the conqueror Hernando Cortes who is wonderfully resurrected by Inaki Aierra with presence and hubris. Embodying the religious invasion of the Aztec world is friar Diego de La Coruna, played with great sensitivity by Jose Carlos Rodriguez.

What Carrasco does so masterfully with these characters is use them to not just tell the story of the conquest, but to make us feel it intimately. The script does not cop out with senseless violence or dime novel theatrics, Carrasco is seriously trying to explore the human cost of a world which radically changes both culturally and in its religious makeup. Gone are false heroics or cardboard characters in this film, the performances never make us doubt for once that these are human beings experiencing powerful events. The dialogue is both elegant and fierce, clear but intelligent.

Carrasco and his team also re-create the world of the conquest with stunning art direction, costume design and lush, elegant cinematography. "The Other Conquest" was made on a small budget and yet contains images and shots worthy of Kubrick or Kurosawa. There is a delicate attention to detail in every frame, Carrasco manages to create a world that we can inhabit while experiencing the movie. The masterful score by the late Jorge Reyes and Samuel Zyman is a lush mixture of indigenous and classical music, providing a beautiful rhythm to the film.

There is a group of historical events which are endlessly mined for films, particularly World War II and Ancient Rome, yet few films have been made in our hemisphere about one of the key events in the history of the Americas. "The Other Conquest" doesn't just use the story of the Spanish invasion of Mexico for entertainment, it is indeed the only serious cinematic study of the cultural, social impact of this event. And in this age of war, culture clashes and new debates about language, religion and their places in society, a film like "The Other Conquest" provides much more than any of the big budget films hogging the rental charts. This is a unique work that should not be missed.
½ June 29, 2010
No me encantó, sin embargo creo que es una obra bastante propostiva. Parece una tragedia o incluso podría ser una tragedia en tono de pieza porque aparentemente no sucede nada y sin embargo al final del camino encontramos a un Topiltzin bastante cambiado que parece aceptar esta condición de combinar sus tradiciones ancestrales con las nuevas tendencias eligiosas que trajeron de España los conquistadores del pueblo mexica. Quizá, puede ser, la alargaron un tanto o quizá simplemente teníamos que conocer esta lucha tanto externa como interna en la cual Topiltzin se negaba a aceptar esta nueva idea de abandonar a Tonatzin y aceptar a la Virgen María, como seguramente sucedio. Si bien no me fascinó la fotografía, creo que todo esfuerzo por exponer la desigualdad y la intolerancia, así como la opresión, vigente hasta el día de hoy, es bien visto y pudo haber sido una gran obra. Por cierto que se veía super falsa la iconografía de la vírgen. Parecía de papel maché, pero esa es ya otra cosa.
April 21, 2010
This film is nothing but a boring Mexican soap opera. Can not decide which is worst; the acting, the wardrobe, the scrip or the direction.
April 21, 2010
For me this picture is not more than an attempt of reconciliation between the anticonquest and conquest points of view. It didnt explores in depth the ideology, cosmology and all the religious ideas of each or the other. It is a facile argument and constantly comparision about the "violence" in the indian and spanish conquistadores...but completely superficial and with a lot of misunderstanding, completely without any kind of knowledge of the context.
January 11, 2010
La Otra Conquista es una pelcula mexicana, la pera prima del director Salvador Carrasco y un drama ambientado en los aos que siguieron a la cada de la Gran Tenochtitlan, capital del imperio Mexica.

La cinta nos presenta a Topiltzin, un pintor indgena de cdices que sobrevive a la conquista y que hace todo lo posible para conservar sus creencias en el nuevo mundo que es construido sobre las ruinas del suyo. Pese a la resignacin de otros de su pueblo, Topiltzin decide defender su fe en Tonantzin (Nuestra Madre, en nhuatl) an arriesgando su vida, es entonces, que fray Diego, un religioso espaol, decide tomar la tarea de evangelizar a aquel joven fervoroso que de ahora en adelante llamara Toms. Pronto, el protagonista comienza a obsesionarse con la figura de la virgen Mara, a la que termina por reconocercomo imagen de su antigua diosa.

Esta pelcula es una de las pocas obras que se han interesado en reflexionar sobre el sincretismo religioso que existe en Mxico, ste es la raz misma de la cultura mexicana, la herencia de un pueblo que conserv sus creencias a pesar de la opresin de los invasores y que supo encontrar a sus divinidades perdidas en los iconos cristianos.
Ms que una cinta de pretendencia histrica, La Otra Conquista es un anlisis sobre la conquista, no solo hablando de la conquista militar de los europeos hacia los mexicas, sino englobando todo lo que hicieron los primeros para imponer su ley y su credo: la destruccin de los templos, la prohibicin de la adoracin a los dioses mesoamericanos, la imposicin de una estructura social y poltica ajena a los nativos, la supresin del idioma nhuatl a cambio del castellano e incluso el cambio de nombre del que se hizo sujeto a las personas. Y, al fin y al cabo, el espritu es lo nico que no se entrega; el espritu de un pueblo que permanece leal a sus orgenes sin importar el precio.

La cinta se presenta con una argumento slido y un guin bien desarrollado que sustenta su mensaje con los dilogos y acciones de los personajes; a pesar de esto, La Otra Conquista es aquejada, obviamente debidosu bajo presupuesto, por una produccin descuidada en todo lo referente a ambientacin, locaciones y maquillaje. El filme pierde credibilidad histrica al mostrar a una Tenochtitlan recin conquistada solo como a pirmides envejecidas y aisladas cubiertas de maleza, cuando la ciudad que tomaron los espaoles era descrita como una metrpolis hyperpoblada con complejos sistemas hidrulicos y arquitectnicos; ms errores se presentan al mostrar a soldados espaoles del siglo XVI con acento latinoamericano y a unos cuantos indgenas en Mxico en contraposicin a los miles que sobrevivieron a la masacre que represent la conquista.

Las actuaciones no estn muy bien trabajadas y por momentos hacen recordar ms a una produccin teatral universitaria que a un trabajo cinematogrfico de alto nivel. La msica es muy bien utilizada y se utiliza una mezcla sonora bien elaborada para ambientar las distintas escenas de la pelcula, las cuales estn bien fotografiadas con respeto hacia los planos y algunas muy buenas tomas, aunque la falta de smbolos y la falta de un ambiente visual creativo limitan a lo que pudo ser un estupendo trabajo de cinematografa.

A pesar de sus carencias de produccin y del ambiente amateur que la rodea, La Otra Conquista es un trabajo nico dentro del cine nacional con personalidad innegable y un anlisis muy interesante sobre la identidad mexicana.

***
October 27, 2009
I very much like what the movie tried to do--narrate the coercion behind religious syncretism in post-Conquest Mexico--but the storytelling was disjointed, plot lines disappearing abruptly (e.g. priest vs. conquistador) while others suddenly appear (Tomás' relationship with the cook). The acting's so-so, though the production is sometimes pretty remarkable given what must have a been a small budget. The movie ends by practically beating us over the head with the message of religious universalism. That said, it's worth watching if only to get an invitation to think about the European Christian encounter with indigenous peoples in a way that's very different from the romanticized version we see in The Mission.
½ May 24, 2009
"La Otra Conquista," or "The Other Conquest," is the spiritual one. The film traces the syncretism of the "mother goddess" and Virgin Mary in one Aztec man's heart and mind. The process, as one might expect, involves the instruments of persuasion of the Spanish Inquisition, alive and well in 16th century Tenochtitlan. Made on a shoestring budget and beautifully filmed at Aztec archaeological sites and Spanish conquest-era churches and convents. In Spanish and Nahuatl with English subtitles. Highly recommended for anyone interested in Latin American history. This film will stay in your thoughts for a long time. A friend actually found this in a Red Box in Winston-Salem!
November 15, 2008
Great effort. People who make movies of this should have a lot more resources.
August 1, 2008
Weird but informative.
½ July 28, 2008
Foreign, Spanish. It was a good movie, but could have been so much better. Film quality wasn't the best in spots and the storyline, went on a religious trek, instead of staying on the conquest and sacking of the temples. It's about the son of Montezuma and his religious conversion after the sacking of his civilization. It was good, but could have been better. I am on the fence for this recommendation; if you want to see it, see it, if you don't, don't.
½ July 28, 2008
Foreign, Spanish. It was a good movie, but could have been so much better. Film quality wasn't the best in spots and the storyline, went on a religious trek, instead of staying on the conquest and sacking of the temples. It's about the son of Montezuma and his religious conversion after the sacking of his civilization. It was good, but could have been better. I am on the fence for this recommendation; if you want to see it, see it, if you don't, don't.
½ June 28, 2008
Watchable drama but might be "boring" for action hunters
½ May 28, 2008
this is a dragging, slightly boring film about the brainwashing of an aztec man. the budget was tiny, which showed through in the acting and production of the film
May 16, 2008
Film about the suppression of the indigenous people of Mexico's culture in the 16th century by over zealous catholic missionaries,after the spanish conquest.Fantastic!
½ May 9, 2008
This film is truly unique and it was a fascinating adventure through Mexico's history.
What first struck me was the amazing and impressive scenery. This film has been compared to Apocalypto and many other films but I feel it is more original and more thought-provoking than the rest.
This film is truly about mans' spirit to defy all and any odds.
However, this film is plagued by poor editing, over-acting, and its plot dipped in the middle act. Sometimes the editing was very choppy, with the scenes abruptly changing and occasionally, the actors would over-act their emotions which then became a pain to watch. Also, the picture quality seemed like a TV film and it was rather grainy.
However, I do commend this film for being ambitious and epic. This film does what few others would do - exploring how brainwashing can affect one's emotional and physical states.
½ April 9, 2008
I watched this movie at the film festival at school and thought it was great. You may have to be of Mexican heritage to get everything out of this film. There was so much emotion and the acting was great.
March 16, 2008
simply an amazing movie. Made me proud of my heritage that I don't know much about being raised atopted. The movie showed the effect brain washing can have on the brainwashed,both physical and emotional. Acting is amazing. Sadly the moive was to short.
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