The Other Conquest and Little Otik, reviews

The Other Conguest is about an Aztec scribe who is the lone survivor of a massacre of his people by Cortes. A Spanish priest takes on the task of converting him to Christianity. He takes him into a monastery, cuts his hair, makes him speak Spanish. His half sister, concubine to Cortes, plots revenge against the Spanish and and becomes preganant with his child. While the sister goes to her death, the priest advocates for him because he truly believes he can “save” Tomas. This is a very different perspective on a first generation assimilation. Topiltzin, renamed Tomas by the priest, never forgets who he is. He mourns the loss of his people, all turned to ashes. The priest is haunted by his experience even on his deathbed. The acting is quite good. A very thoughtful movie when a great period look. 3/5 acorns, no clives.

Little Otik is an odd movie directed by Jan Svankmajer.  It is based on a Czech fairy tale.  There are some great scenes in the beginning that graphically portray a couples’ desire for a child.  The father digs up a tree stump and presents it to his wife as a baby.  She powders and nurtures it until it comes alive.  Unfortunately Otik has a voracious appetite and soon the cat, the postman and a social worker all go missing.

The next door neighbor child is suspicious of the whole false pregnancy and her suspicions grow after reading the fairy tale about the Otanek.  The parents of Otik cannot provide enough food for Otik but feels such a bond to him, they can’t kill him.  Instead, they lock in a trunk in the basement.  The neighbor child tries to save Otik, democratically picking the pedophile for Otik’s first meal.

Otik is a stop go animation of the type the director is famous for.  There are some great close up shots throughout, almost like snapshots.

I will rate this 4/5 acorns.  Not for everyone.  1/2 of a clive.


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