«Christopher Columbus : The Discovery»

“Christopher Columbus:
The Discovery”
Georges Corraface as Christopher Columbus.
Also staring: Marlon Brando, Benicio del Toro, Catherine Zeta Jones, Tom Selleck, Rachel Ward, Robert Davy.
Directed by: John Glen.
Screenplay by: David W. Rintels.
Produced by: Alexandre et Ilya Salkind.
Distributed by: Warner Brothers.
Date: 1992.
Photos: Bob Penn, Stefani Kong.

A historical film describing the path which led Columbus (Georges Corraface) to convince the Spanish monarchs Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand (Tom Selleck and Rachel Ward) to finance the three famous ships, as well as the adventure of the first voyage.

In addition to the tribulations of this voyage of discovery, this film relates not only the heroism of Columbus but also his megalomania and his ambition. Pressured by the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada (Marlon Brando), he spoliates the Caribbean Indians of the little gold which they wear and forcibly converts to the Catholic faith the group he brings back to Spain as a trophy to display to the Spanish Court.

This blind and brutal condescension is the forerunner of the long-enduring genocide which is now known. Parallel to Columbus’ triumphant arrival at the Royal palace, a massacre in the context of the first Indian revolt takes place in reaction to the exactions of certain Spaniards (Benicio del Toro) who stayed behind. Upon his homecoming to Spain, when he is reunited with his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones), he is a changed man. Gone are the visionary, adventurer, explorer and seaman, to be replaced by a politician.