The plot centres on two characters: Friar Diego (Rodriguez) who has a real love for the natives; and Topiltzin (Delgado), son of Emperor Moctezuma, horrified at the slaughter around him and confused by religious imagery that positions St Mary where the Mother Goddess should be. These two characters are more alike than they know, but they're put in tension by the people around them ... and their own actions.
Sadly, this was obviously done on a shoestring. The cinematography is efficient and slick, but that only highlights the awful costumes (they look like they were safety-pinned together just before filming) and the lack of extras in vast, utterly empty rooms and landscapes. Not to mention the completely gratuitous grisliness, sex and nudity. There are good ideas and it's quite fascinating, but it's so stilted and overwrought that we're never drawn into it at all.
[adult themes, grisly violence, nudity] 2.Nov.99
8th St Louis Film Festival; US release 19.Apr.00
"Wow, what an extraordinary film! Talk about the power of art to change you forever. The Other Conquest is a true masterpiece, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a cinematic gem destined to become a classic for all time. Apart from being incredibly entertaining, this Mexican film is so moving, thought-provoking, sensitive and illuminating about a subject matter that applies to all human beings (no matter the time and place, social group or ethnic background) that it should become part of the obligatory curriculum in all high schools and colleges of our multicultural nation. Bravo to everyone involved with this unique and unforgettable film that, for a change, makes me proud of being a member of the human race!" --filmmoviebuff, net.
"I saw The Other Conquest twice, for my simple movie taste. It is an enthralling work; it starts hitting you in the face and then just kicks your ass for the rest of the movie. The main fact is that the brutal Spanish did murder and rape a whole civilization. It was natural for them; back home in Spain the Spanish tortured lots of people. So it was a great movie that should be re-released in the US. Or at least released to tape so more people can see a great movie." --Joe DeFiglio, Santa Barbara 12.Sep.03
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