Another chance for 'The Other Conquest' (The Mexican film depicting the Spanish clash with the Aztecs returns to theaters eight years after its premiere)

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Its tagline could be "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the Aztecs But Were Afraid to Ask Mel Gibson."

But writer-director Salvador Carrasco hopes that with the re-release of his movie "The Other Conquest" (La Otra Conquista) in U.S. theaters this month, comparisons or elaborate introductions won't be required. That's partly because Carrasco's much-extolled first feature film, set during the bloody encounter between the Spanish conquistadors and Aztec king Montezuma's empire, already has staked out a claim in the United States, or at least Los Angeles.

And though its story dates back nearly half a millennium, Carrasco believes his film may be more meaningful now than when it made its screen debut eight years ago. "With this kind of subject matter, the film is timeless," says the 39-year-old director, speaking by phone from his Santa Monica home. "Sort of like with good wine, it has gained through the years and become more relevant."

After "The Other Conquest" premiered in Mexico in April 1999, it became the top-grossing Mexican dramatic film at that time in the country, taking in $2 million. One year later, when it opened in Los Angeles, Times reviewer Kevin Thomas described it as "a boldly imaginative and enthralling evocation" of the conquistadors' ransacking of the Aztec empire, and the subsequent attempt to convert what was left of the Indian population to Roman Catholicism. Thomas subsequently named "The Other Conquest" one of the best films of 2000.

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