Not Pleased with Indiana Jones

June 2nd, 2008

This article is pieced together from others. It should make sense.

Ben Jonjak says:
It´s hardly a secret that Hollywood films frequently misrepresent the details of “exotic” regions. Let´s face it, those films are made primarily for American audiences, and for most Americans the world consists of the US surrounded by a vast, nebulous mystery-land (sad, but true).That´s all fine and dandy, but if you happen to be in one of those exotic locations watching an inaccurate portrayal, you start to recognize something that might never have occurred to you otherwise.

Those locations aren´t just letters on a map. They´re living, breathing regions with their own cultures and histories and, in most cases, they´re capable of providing stories that beat the pants off any random old silliness that might come out of a film director´s head. You’ve got to be careful how you represent them.


Kleph says:
Peruvians … fear[ed] misrepresentations of their culture and history in the newest film in the franchise, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of Crystal Skull.
Ben Jonjak says:
So it was with a little bit of trepidation that I sat in the cinema at the Óvalo de Gutierrez in Lima, Peru, and watched Indiana Jones declare that he was going to fly on down to visit the Nazca lines … having seen Indiana Jones movies before, I was a little bit skeptical as to how Steven Spielberg was going to portray one of the world´s great wonderlands (he didn´t do India any favors now did he?).It was kind of delightful to sense how the audience at the pre-screening of “Crystal Skull” reacted to just the mention of Peru. There was a surge of energy in the theatre and a smattering of applause. Me? I was on the edge of my seat thinking, “Please Spielberg, be respectful, be fair, be accurate. Just for once, don’t fall into the Hollywood cliche.”

So, was Peru given the India treatment by Hollywood? Not quite.

Ben Jonjak says:
Well, the music sounded Mexican, not Andean.  The ruins looked more Mayan than Incan, and within five seconds of landing Indy had to go into a rather unfortunately portrayed insane asylum.

Mexico, of course being the origin of all the world’s Latinos and the country that stretches from the US border to the south pole.

Omikron says:
Dress latinos in native peruvian clothing add a little dirt to their faces, make them lay on the streets to do siesta or have them speak Spanish with a Central American accent, play mariachi music as background and finally add some chickens in the middle of an airport with peruvian flags ….what do you end up with? Indiana Jones visiting Cusco. Aside from all the nonsense found in the movie (Nasca lines next to Cusco City – or should I say a rustic town full of natives?, thunderous Nasca nights, Cusco an international airport) I have to say I was really dissapointed and disgusted with it. I’m tired on how americans through Hollywood and the media depict Peru, Latin American countries and the third world in general as ignorant, dirty and blowgun wielding savages.For Hollywood, a Mexican, Brazilian or Peruvian are all the same, they all ride llamas and dance to mariachi music.

What other inaccuracies where there?

Living in Peru says:
One of the first mistakes noted by critics in Peru was the use of Nazca’s lines to find a tomb.The tomb Indiana Jones was searching for belonged to Francisco de Orellana, a man that died in the 1500s. It was questioned how Nazca’s ancient lines, could be used to find a tomb used in the 1500s.

Silly, but it’s just a movie. Most of the audience have probably never heard of the lines anyway.

Jorge says:
Indy is the most confused archeologyst in the world.  Maybe he took some ayahuasca in a hidden chapter.  I was surprised not to see the statue of liberty next to the mexican temples on the peruvian desert-jungle territory.
E says:
Yeah… anything that’s south of the border is Mexican here in America.  If its in Spanish, its Mexican, if its brown, its Mexican.
Its APPALLING that with all the millions of dollars spent in this movie nobody had the not so brilliant idea to type “Peruvian music” in Google, go to the first link that takes you to wikepedia, and figure out (just by looking at the picture of the guy playing the zampoña) that Peruvian music, particularly Andean music, has the sound of “flutes” in it and is not a romanticized Hollywood version of Mexican music.
Living in Peru says:
Later in the movie Jones and his young companion, Mutt Williams find themselves at an airport in Nazca. There is no airport in Nazca, only an airdrome.Mexican music is then heard (while still in Peru) and Jones states he knows the local language – Quechua – because he fought alongside Pancho Villa. This further alarmed critics, given that Pancho Villa was a Mexican Revolutionary general.

Once the tomb has been located, the body of a Spanish explorer is found to have been wrapped as if it belonged to the Paracas or Nazca culture.

But if they were able to research the burials of the Paracas culture, surely they knew about the rest of the mistakes and could have avoided them?
Do these mistakes even matter? Do they hurt anyone?

rgamarra28 says:
I could forgive the fact that they flew all the way to Cuzco, yet somehow landed at the “Nazca Airport” in “Nazca Peru”, which we all know is many, many MILES away from Cuzco, I could also forgive how they put some sort of Jungle temple in the middle of the Nazcan desert, but what was insulting was the Mexican music being played in a Peruvin (Cuzco?) market. That was culterally insensitive on the part of the film’s creators. I understand that it’s fantasy, but just to think of the person who wins the trip to Peru from the Indiana Jones Burger King promotion, Cuzco won’t be anywhere near Nazca, there won’t be any jungle ruins in the middle of the desert and most disappointing of all for them is that there won’t be any of that “traditional” Mexican music playing in the markets.

If Hollywood can’t tell the difference between Mexico and Peru, I don’t think a Burger King contest winner will be able to either. The winner is probably brushing up on his Mexican as I write this.

Fernando says:
What I learned from Indiana Jones movie (a fifth grade report)
1. Nazca and Cuzco cities are next to each other
2. People in Nazca dress like people in the Andes
3. The Nazca lines are drawn in stone (petroglyphs)
4. Ancient Peruvians learned how to do stuff from the aliens
5. Pancho Villa is a well known Peruvian military leader
6. You can get 100 soviet soldiers into a military base in Nevada
during the Mc Carthy era


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