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Countywide : Chumash Call for Boycott of Films About Columbus

Ventura County News Roundup

August 12, 1992|PATRICK McCARTNEY

The California Indian Council Chumash has called for the boycott of two upcoming films on the voyage of Christopher Columbus, saying the event that the films depict still causes pain to American Indians.

The Ventura County-based council, a nonprofit group that represents native Chumash, plans to coordinate its protest with other Indian groups in Los Angeles, said Richard Angulo, the council's president.

On Monday, council directors and American Indian leaders in the Los Angeles area agreed to boycott "Christopher Columbus--The Discovery," an independent production that opens Aug. 21.

"The Discovery" was produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind Productions, with George Corraface as Columbus.

The film, which also stars Marlon Brando, is being distributed by Warner Bros. Studios.

Last month, the Ventura County council voted to boycott "1492: Conquest of Paradise," a $45-million Paramount Pictures production featuring French actor Gerard Depardieu in the role of Columbus.

Paramount plans to release its film Oct. 9, three days before the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World.

"We can't celebrate something that destroyed us as a people," Angulo said. "The anger has to come out somewhere."

A Paramount publicist said the movie is simply an attempt to describe one of history's most important events.

"The picture is not aimed at glorifying a hero, but in explaining an era," said the publicist, who asked not to be named.

The film, which also features Sigourney Weaver and Armand Assante, was directed by Ridley Scott, who also directed "Thelma and Louise."

The Gabrielino Nation in Los Angeles County has also agreed to protest the films, said Vera Rocha, the nation's chief.

"The movie industry is profiting on our culture, sometimes with the truth and other times with a lot of lies," Rocha said.

"We want to teach the public how we actually feel."

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