A Cruel Thing: A Tale of American Spirits.


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But he is really interested in someone, and is he really an interesting person? Is he really alive? A beautiful but ambitious young woman joins a traveling troupe of third-rate vaudevillians and inadvertently causes jealousy and emotional crises. During a day in their honeymoon, a couple is separated by the city's lust and the desires it produces. A trio of con-men lead by a lonesome swindler must deal with their job and family pressures. A fluid, unconnected and sometimes chaotic procession of scenes detailing the various people and events of life in Italy's capital, most of it based on director Federico Fellini's life.

The amusing and entertaining adventures of a recently released mental patient and his band of misfits, discover conspiracies to concur while looking for love. Three directors each adapt a Poe short story to the screen: "Toby Dammit" features a disheveled, drugged and drunk English movie star who nods acceptance in the Italian press and his producers fawn over him.

Written by alfiehitchie. In the opening school sequence, Poe's Wilson is, to be sure, a leader of the other students: "the ardor, the enthusiasm, and the imperiousness of my disposition, soon rendered me a marked character among my schoolmates, and by slow, but natural gradations, gave me an ascendancy over all not greatly older than myself. He approaches the other's bed at night, apparently sees his own face on the sleeping boy and "passed silently from the chamber, and left at once, the halls of that old academy, never to enter them again.

The doppelganger makes his first appearance by hitting Wilson with a snowball. The snow fight, the torture, the significant hit by a snowball, the expulsion from school are not in Poe's tale. The torture is briefly in Melville's film, but described more fully in the novel: "By the spasmodic flaring of the gas lamp he could be seen to be a small boy with his back against the wall, hemmed in by his captives One of these Weeping, he sought to close his eyes, to avert his head.

But every time he struggled, his torturer seized a fistful of gray snow and scrubbed his ears with it. Dargelos is the same sort of malignant leader of his schoolmates as Malle's young Wilson. The headmaster calls his influence on his classmates unhealthy, and after an outrageous act he is expelled from the school. Even more to the point, Dargelos has a doppelganger in the form of the character Agathe. In Melville's film Dargelos and Agathe are played by same person, and their mysterious resemblance is important to the story. All of these added Cocteau elements are so strong that one assumes that Malle intended viewers to recognize the reference.

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Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. But if you think about it, the whole concept of discovering America is, well, arrogant. After all, the Native Americans discovered North America about 14, years before Columbus was even born! Surprisingly, DNA evidence now suggests that courageous Polynesian adventurers sailed dugout canoes across the Pacific and settled in South America long before the Vikings. Second, Columbus wasn't a hero.

Writing in his diary, Columbus said they were a handsome, smart and kind people. He noted that the gentle Arawaks were remarkable for their hospitality. The Arawaks had no weapons ; their society had neither criminals, prisons nor prisoners. They were so kind-hearted that Columbus noted in his diary that on the day the Santa Maria was shipwrecked, the Arawaks labored for hours to save his crew and cargo.

The native people were so honest that not one thing was missing. Columbus was so impressed with the hard work of these gentle islanders, that he immediately seized their land for Spain and enslaved them to work in his brutal gold mines. Within only two years, , half of the population of the original natives on the island were dead. Shockingly, Columbus supervised the selling of native girls into sexual slavery. Young girls of the ages 9 to 10 were the most desired by his men. In , Columbus casually wrote about it in his log.

He said: "A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls ; those from nine to ten are now in demand.

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He forced these peaceful natives work in his gold mines until they died of exhaustion. If an "Indian" worker did not deliver his full quota of gold dust by Columbus' deadline, soldiers would cut off the man's hands and tie them around his neck to send a message. Slavery was so intolerable for these sweet, gentle island people that at one point, of them committed mass suicide. Catholic law forbade the enslavement of Christians, but Columbus solved this problem.

He simply refused to baptize the native people of Hispaniola. On his second trip to the New World, Columbus brought cannons and attack dogs. If a native resisted slavery, he would cut off a nose or an ear. If slaves tried to escape, Columbus had them burned alive. Other times, he sent attack dogs to hunt them down, and the dogs would tear off the arms and legs of the screaming natives while they were still alive.

If the Spaniards ran short of meat to feed the dogs, Arawak babies were killed for dog food. Columbus' acts of cruelty were so unspeakable and so legendary - even in his own day - that Governor Francisco De Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his two brothers, slapped them into chains, and shipped them off to Spain to answer for their crimes against the Arawaks. But the King and Queen of Spain, their treasury filling up with gold, pardoned Columbus and let him go free. One of Columbus' men, Bartolome De Las Casas , was so mortified by Columbus' brutal atrocities against the native peoples, that he quit working for Columbus and became a Catholic priest.

He described how the Spaniards under Columbus' command cut off the legs of children who ran from them, to test the sharpness of their blades.


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According to De Las Casas, the men made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half. He says that Columbus' men poured people full of boiling soap. In a single day, De Las Casas was an eye witness as the Spanish soldiers dismembered, beheaded, or raped native people.

De Las Casas spent the rest of his life trying to protect the helpless native people. But after a while, there were no more natives to protect.

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Experts generally agree that before , the population on the island of Hispaniola probably numbered above 3 million. Within 20 years of Spanish arrival, it was reduced to only 60, Within 50 years, not a single original native inhabitant could be found. In , Spanish historian Peter Martyr wrote: " Christopher Columbus derived most of his income from slavery, De Las Casas noted.

In fact, Columbus was the first slave trader in the Americas. As the native slaves died off, they were replaced with black slaves. Columbus' son became the first African slave trader in Are you surprised you never learned about any of this in school?

I am too. Why do we have this extraordinary gap in our American ethos? Columbus himself kept detailed diaries, as did some of his men including De Las Casas and Michele de Cuneo. If you don't believe me, just Google the words Columbus, sex slave, and gold mine. Columbus' reign of terror is one of the darkest chapters in our history. Take three deep breaths. If you're like me, your stomach is heaving at this point.

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