What are the markers of the “chase”? What mistake does Jaguar Paw make?

From the moment that Jaguar Paw is miraculously sparred ritual execution as part of the debased Mayan use of religion-as-theater, that is, as a means of control over the population, the film becomes, in some ways, a “chase” film. The balance of the story is of Jaguar Paw’s desperate attempt to escape his would be captors and to keep his promise, at the beginning of the film, to return to his wife and children (one of which will be born even as he tries to reach them).

What are the markers of the “chase”? What mistake does Jaguar Paw make? When does he realize that he must change if he is to succeed in his quest? After this realization, what does he do to defeat his enemies? Finally, at the end of the film, what do you make of the appearance of the Spaniards coming to shore at the climax? What do they represent to the Mayans and why do Jaguar Paw’s enemies not kill him–why do they stare in astonishment and let him escape, or, why are they no longer motivated to finish what Zero Wolf had started but failed (i.e. killing Jaguar Paw in revenge for the death of his son) to do? Your entry should be between 500 and 750 words in length. Be “textual.” Employ concrete details from the film to illustrate and substantiate your understanding of the film.

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