1492: Conquest of Paradise

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1492: Conquest of Paradise is a 1992 biographical drama film produced by Gaumont Film Company and distributed by Paramount Pictures. The film stars Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante and Sigourney Weaver, written by Roselyne Bosch, and directed by Ridley Scott.

Plot

The film tells a fictionalized account of Christopher Columbus' travels to the New World and his discovery and treatment of the indigenous tribes.

Why it Sucks

  1. Countless historical inaccuracies.
    • Right at the beginning it shows turkeys in Spain, which during the 15th century were known to be only native in North America.
    • People still seem to believe that the Earth is flat with Columbus presenting his theory on how it's round, despite the fact that in reality people during this time already believed it was round (indeed, the Ancient Greeks has already not only determined it was round but calculated approximately how large it was). Columbus' crew were nervous because they knew his calculation of the size of the Earth was totally incorrect and India was much too far away to reach before their ships ran out of supplies, not because they thought they would sail off the edge of the world.
    • The scene where people are burned at the stake for heresy makes it seem like it's common. This was a rare occurrence in real-life and the notion that it was common spectacle was protestant reformist propaganda.
    • Columbus says he wants to help show respect to the natives. In reality he enslaved and brutally exploited them, regarding their kindness and lack of aggression as signs of their inferiority.
    • The film has Adrián de Moxica (Michael Wincott) as the instigator of the savage attacks on the natives, when in reality it was Columbus who ordered the natives to be mutilated or executed if they had failed to do any of the tasks ordered by him.
  2. A lot of scenes go for too long and overall makes the film monotonous and boring.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Great soundtrack by Vangelis, known for composing the soundtracks for Blade Runner and Chariots of Fire.
  2. The cinematography is quite nice.

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