Toward the end, I decided this film rated a C minus. Then in the final scenes, as the Christians arrived just in time to "save the day," I gave it a weak D. Pure fantasy with all the entertainment value of touring a meatpacking plant.

Barry Tobin
Boulder, Colorado

From the cover "Put a Cork in It"
Photograph by Howard Huang
From the cover "Put a Cork in It"

Great film. Reviewer out to get Gibson. Reviewer an idiot.

Jon Gindick
Malibu, California

I understand there are limited opportunities for aboriginal professionals in the film industry, but there must be some projects that are so offensive to Native history and culture as to cause actors of conscience to turn down roles regardless of the money or the director.

I'm referring to movies such as Apocalypto, a bad film that has some of the most grotesque images ever shoved before a stunned audience. From heads impaled on poles to hundreds of corpses rotting in a burial pit, director Mel Gibson does his worst to show Natives as so thoroughly savage that only a righteous cleansing by Christian invaders can save them from utter depravity.

The Native participants in this movie should have demanded a complete rewrite. They should have used their collective power to stop it from being made.

Imagine the universal protest if he dared show Arabs, Jews, or Africans in a similar barbaric way. We can only hope it does not slam the door on more worthy movies that might actually tell the truth as to who we were and are.

Doug George-Kanentiio
Oneida Castle, New York

The writer, an Akwesasne Mohawk, co-founded the Native American Journalists Association and was on the board of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Apocalypto was one of the best movies I have ever seen, and I have been watching TCM every day for years and have a house full of videotapes to prove it! If there was violence, there was violence for a reason. This was a movie about hunters and warriors and pagan cults, not about the "cool" sickos so beloved in Hollywood. It's a pity we don't have more Mel Gibsons to make worthwhile movies like this one.

Helen Hall
Memphis, Tennessee

Polar opposites
Regarding your glib and weak "review" of Happy Feet [Jordan Harper, villagevoice .com, November 14]: Yes, I agree that the filmmakers probably saw March of the Penguins. And they did so after they finished their animated film, as they started work on it years before the documentary came into existence. Your review does a real disservice to a smart film by a fearless and cliché-wary director [George Miller]. Are you so afraid of being called unhip by your peers that you have to casually disregard this good film? I don't think it's the greatest animated film of all time, but I know a good thing when I see it. Do you?

Hal Nine
Urbana, Illinois

You are as ignorant as they come. Robin Williams was the best part of [Happy Feet]. You obviously have no sense of humor. And what is wrong with sending a message? There are animal lovers everywhere trying to protect certain species that we humans are endangering. So what's so bad about putting that in a children's film that would help them understand that?

William Valderrama

Cause celeb

Nathan Lee ends his review of Blood Diamond ["Say It With Diamonds?" December 6–12] with the snarky comment that "Connelly is so ready for her 'I Am African' poster." As if caring about the AIDS epidemic that is ravaging Africa (the point of that campaign) is somehow jumping on a bandwagon. Since when is it a bad thing to care about, shed light on, and bring attention to Africa's plight?

I applaud the celebrities who donated their time and appeal to break through so that more people paid attention. Maybe you should check out keepachildalive.org and find out what "I Am African" is all about.

Jenna Moran

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