SynopsisIn the Maya civilization, a peaceful tribe is brutally attacked by warriors seeking slaves and human beings for sacrifice for their gods. Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) hides his pregnant wife and his son in a deep hole nearby their tribe and is captured while fighting with his people. An eclipse spares his life from the sacrifice and later he has to fight to survive and save his beloved family.
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The film features a cast of Mexicans, Mayas, and some other Native Americans. Mel Gibson chose a cast of actors who were from Mexico City and the Yucatán, or who were descendants of indigenous people of Canada and the United States. In Apocalypto, the dialogue is entirely in the Yucatec Maya language. In April 2005, Gibson visited El Mirador in Guatemala, possibly the largest Mayan site yet discovered and donated $500,000 towards its study project. Mel Gibson wanted Apocalypto to feature sets with actual buildings rather than relying on computer-generated images. Most of the step pyramids seen at the Maya city were models designed by Thomas E. Sanders. Apocalypto is a Greek word for an unveiling or new beginning.