The Mexican government is releasing new information from the pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilization to the makers of a documentary, “Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond.”
But what exactly those revelations will be is hazy.
Interviews with producers Raul Julia-Levy and Ed Elbert and the tourism minister for the Mexican state of Campeche, Luis Augusto Garcia Rosado, left lots of unanswered questions.
The filmmakers promised that they’ll be revealing previously classified information and unveiling Mayan wisdom vital to the future of humanity. They also said, however, that they had yet to see this classified info.
“This is very important for humanity, not just for Mexico,” said Julia-Levy, the son of the late actor Raul Julia.
“This information has been protected for 80 years, and now it’s important for people to understand the series of events that are coming, and the consequences for all of us.”
But Julia-Levy has been specifically ordered not to talk about any of the more mystical possibilities that might strain credulity as Mexico prepares to launch the far-reaching (and tourism-inducing) 2012 Mayan World Program.
Mexican minister Rosado, who was quoted talking about contact between the Mayans and extraterrestrials in a press release that was subsequently recalled, now paints this as a simpler, more archaeological-oriented documentary.
“The Mayans used to construct one pyramid over another,” he said. “In the site at Calakmul (photo below), workers for INAH [the National Institute of Anthropology and History] have discovered rooms inside the pyramid that have never been seen or explored before.
The film, in other words, might be a serious, eye-opening exploration of Mayan culture and artifacts uncovered by archaeologists, or it might be considerably more wild-eyed and speculative than that.
Julia-Levy, for his part, talks about revealing Mayan knowledge of future catastrophes, and “shocking” wisdom that will tell the world “this is what we have created on our planet, this is what’s coming, and this is what we can do to fix it.”
In the summer of 2010, Julia-Levy said he was writing a novel variously entitled “Chronicles of the Mayan Tunnel” and “Secrets of the Mayan Time Machine.” He and Elbert were also going to make a 3D movie from that novel starring himself and Wesley Snipes, he said at the time.
And several reports said the novel itself was being written with the help of “secret information” never before released by the Mexican government.
But Julia-Levy and Elbert dismissed that project as a “Harry Potter”-style piece of fiction with no connection to the current documentary, and said that the film has been set aside because Snipes is serving a prison sentence for tax evasion.
“We put that film on hold,” said Elbert. “Dollar-wise, this documentary might be smaller, but it is based on the release of new and important knowledge from the Mayans.”
The English-language documentary will be directed by Juan Carlos Ruflo (whose other films include the 2006 Sundance winner “In the Pit”), and will begin shooting later this year. Elbert said the filmmakers are currently talking to investors and waiting for the government to give them their first look at the material and the site.
Julia-Levy said he’d been made aware of secret Mayan information by former Mexican president Vicente Fox, and that after four years of phone calls he finally got the okay from current president Felipe Calderon.
“At the moment, talk of the Mayans is a big thing,” confirmed Rosado. “We’ve counted over three million websites talking about the end of the Mayan calendar, and we have been contacted by a lot of producers who want to come and film on our sites.”
The Mexican government, said Elbert, is adamant that the film get an initial theatrical release, which is planned for next fall. “It has to be released before the end of the Mayan calendar, which is December 21, 2012,” said Julia-Levy.
That’s the date that the Maya “long count calendar” comes to the end of a 5,126-year cycle. Many scholars have said that the belief that the Maya calendar actually ends on that date, rather than simply resetting for another cycle, is erroneous — and the implication that the calendar predicts a worldwide cataclysm is wrong.
Asked if the movie will involve aliens, mystical elements or doomsday scenarios that have fueled the popular imagination, Julia-Levy declined to elaborate.
“I’m not allowed to speak about that,” he said. “Everything is going to come out in time, but I can’t comment on aliens or on 2012.
“I can just say that the Mexican government is preparing to tell humanity and the world things that are critical for us, for the way we live, for the way we’ve been handling the planet.”