Carrasco tells the other side in "The Other Conquest"
Films are powerful works of art. They are capable of retelling major historical events, and giving a voice to people, groups, and cultures that want to be heard. "The Other Conquest" aspires to reflect the voice of a people who found their culture and ways of life compromised.
Written and directed by Santa Monica College film professor Salvador Carrasco, "The Other Conquest" was featured in Mexico in 2000, and then re-released to theatres in 2007. It is based on the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs in Mexico during 1521, told from the perspective of an Aztec who survived the horrible massacre of his people at the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan.
It took Carrasco seven years to work on and complete the movie. According to him, it was a drawn out process and filming wasn't consistent. "The challenge was raising money at first because it was controversial telling a point-of-view from the other side of history," said Carrasco.
That did not stop his inspiring creation to become a hit at the end after all, however. Carrasco pointed out how the film was named among one of the top ten films of the year, according to L.A. Times as well as The NY Times. It's been shown in over 30 countries.
"It gave a voice to the people who were normally silenced," said Carrasco. Making the film was very meaningful to him. ''It allowed me to stay focused, and it made my belief in the content of it all even stronger. It paid off."
Carrasco recounted his experience on filming the movie. Having always been interested in cultural classes, he wanted to explore cultural conflict, and the reality of two cultures colliding together. He noted the significance of moral ambivalence with this film.
Carrasco hopes that "The Other Conquest" will continue to inspire others and gave some advice to aspiring filmmakers. "You don't have to make compromises in terms of your own beliefs and ideas being on the big screen. You don't need to sell out," said Carrasco.
"The Other Conquest" will be shown in a screening here at SMC on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in HSS 165.