In The Other Conquest by Salvador Carrasco takes place in 1520 at the beginnings of the spanish conquest when Hernan Cortes arrived to modern day Mexico. The opening shot is of a massacre of Aztec bodies that seems to be a distant memory or a dream. This now leading us to Friar Diego who is bedridden and shows signs of a guilt ridden conscious due to his travels in the new world. The slip of aztec art within his bible leads us to the scene of Topiltzin recording all the blood shed that he has seen at the hands of the spanish.
The flashes of violent imagery surrounding the spanish flag showing a growing tension and hatred between the Aztecs and Spanish. Topiltzin continues to record the history of his people even though most of them were killed. Him and the other survivors seek refuge under a temple where they conduct their human sacrifices in secret from the spanish. From the symbols in this scene we can see how heavily intertwined their gods are with their culture and how dependant they are on them. This reliance on their Mother Goddess the main idol of the story is quickly destroyed by the spanish and replaced with the Virgin Mary who is an exact opposite of what they have know for all their lives.
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The contrast between the two brings feelings of insecurity and hopelessness to the Aztecs that remain now in the captivity of the spanish who give them the options of either life as a converted catholic or death not leaving them with much of a choice. Religious institutions of the Aztecs were considered blasphemy to the Spanish destroyed temples and idols. Having lost their sacred temples, organized communities and any record of their past they began to try to assimilate into spanish colonial life. The Catholic Church was the dominant religious force in the Old World. Catholicism of the conquistadors and the orders from the monarchy to convert the aztecs by any means necessary. Throughout the clip conversion to the religion is described as for a bettering of the people but as history shows the actions taken against the natives, violence, murder, and rape were barbaric, not expected from a civilized society like Spain or it’s conquistadors.
The Spanish did make efforts to incorporate Aztec aspects into the new religious society being cultivated in the New World. They allowed the Aztec to be a part of the structure of the church during their conversion period. Yet over time Aztecs absorbed and appropriated Catholicism, reinterpreting it on their own terms and making it part of the modern day Mexican culture.