THE DREAM OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION IN A BRITISH VESSEL: THE BOUNTY

Maybe one of the fantasies those everybody has at the end of each phase of the life, is to live in a island. One of my dreams for example, is to visit one of my favourite islands in the world: Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom overseas territory), in the South Pacific Ocean. When I knew the story of the 23 mutineers of the HMS Bounty in the 18th century, who chose that island to live and die, I always ask myself which is the misterious charm that this island encloses.

The story of the Bounty mutiny is extraordinary, for several reasons. It was in a British ship, in times when Britain was leading the war of seas. It was exactly in 1789, the same year when the French Revolution began, with those marvelous ideals of freedom and equality, but England refused to keep in the same way. The tragic incident in the Bounty reflected this conflict in a minimum scale. It was also a clash of leaderships, because Lieutenant  William Bligh (who served also as Master and Commander and Captain) represented the order, the discipline and loyalty to the rules and Fletcher Christian, formerly´s Bligh friend, but also one of his officers in the ship, refused his authority and became the leader of the mutineers. Moreover, the mutiny opened the possibility of the mutineers to create an absolute new and an egualitarian society in Rousseaunian terms, in Pitcairn Islands, so far of the control of the Royal Navy, which wanted thir heads on hanging because of their breaking rules of the British Marine. Finally, maybe, the story symbolized once again, an intercultural love affair between the white men (the British) and the natives, especially Tahitian women. But they paid a high price for the paradise promised and expected: when 18 years later, an American whale ship rediscovered the island, it found one man (John Adams), with nine women and 23 children. It is assumed that Christian died on Pitcairn Island in September 1793.

The mutiny on the Bounty was described in five films, in 1916, 1933, 1935, 1962 y 1984. Fletcher Christian was portrayed by Wilton Power, Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Marlon Brando and Mel Gibson, respectively.  “The Bounty”, directed by Roger Donaldson and produced by Dino de Laurentiis, released in 1984, is less sympathetic to Christian than previous treatments were. Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins was in a superb level, playing the role of Captain Bligh. The film also features Laurence Olivier, Edward Fox, Daniel Day-Lewis and Liam Neeson. The music score was composed by Vangelis.

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“EL ULTIMO DE LOS MOHICANOS”

Siempre me fascinaron los procesos sociales que se resisten morir ante el avance de aquellos que se aproximan para instalarse. La novela de James Fenimore Cooper, no retrata precisamente, “un choque de civilizaciones” a lo Huntington, sino más bien, lo contrario. Esboza la posibilidad de cercanías o semejanzas entre indios, mestizos y blancos, ya sea colonos americanos como oficiales y soldados británicos y franceses. El contexto o ambiente del libro, es la guerra de los Siete Años (1756-1763), entre la victoriosa Inglaterra y la derrotada Francia en Europa, trasladada al continente americano, donde ambas potencias peleaban por la posesión de Canadá y la región de los Grandes Lagos en el territorio septentrional de la actual Estados Unidos.

Los protagonistas de esta historia de 1757, son el riflero mestizo “Ojo de Halcón” (Hawkeye) o “Carabina Larga” y sus amigos, los indios mohicanos Chingachgook padre de Uncás, que pelean para los colonos e ingleses, dirigidos por el Teniente Coronel George Munro, cuyas hijas Alicia y Cora, se enamoran de los dos primeros, a pesar de que Alicia está semicomprometida con el oficial “casaca roja”, el Mayor Heyward. En la vereda opuesta, están los franceses del pérfido Mayor Louis Joseph Marqués de Montcalm y sus indios aliados, los hurones, que comerciaban su lealtad a cambio de negocios con los blancos. El personaje principal de este flanco militar, es el salvaje y sanguinario indio, Magua, el guía y jefe de los hurones.

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