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Thomas Haden Church
Genoan navigator Christopher Columbus has a dream to find an alternative route to sail to the Indies, by traveling west instead of east, across the unchartered Ocean sea. After failing to find backing from the Portugese, he goes to the Spanish court to ask Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand for help. After surviving a grilling from the Head of the Spanish Inquisition Tomas de Torquemada, he eventually gets the blessing from Queen Isabella and sets sail in three ships to travel into the unknown. Along the way he must deal with sabotage from Portugese spies and mutiny from a rebellious crew. Written by
[to the Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor]
I recall our blessed Lord said: here is a new commandment I give to you. That you love one another as I loved you. Surely it is not blasphemy to take that message to the shores of Africa or across the ocean sea.
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My god, this Columbus kicks ass! Look, he's not apologizing! Look, he is not glorifying Islam! Look, he's not lamenting the evil of white people! Look, he's not a whimpering, deceitful wretch!
In other words, this film is nothing like Ridley Scott's politically correct pile of rubbish about the discovery of America.
This Columbus is confident, unapologetic, full of spirit. He does not weep and doubt himself in every scene. He's not a confused, indecisive fat git. Nor is he an evil murderer. He represents the spirit of Europe. He feels proud just as the filmmakers want us to feel proud of being Europeans.
That's why I give it ten stars. On purely artistic grounds, it's no great achievement, despite its budget and solid cast.
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