New Mel Gibson movie APOCALYPTO has come under fire from indigenous Guatemalans for "stereotyping" the Mayan Empire as "savage" and "brutal". Apocalypto is set in the twilight years of the Mayan civilisation, which peaked in the eighth century, and although only the movie's trailer has been shown in Guatemala, human rights activists are up in arms. LUCIO YAXON, who works to help the 50 per cent of Guatamalans descending from the Maya, says, "The director is saying the Mayans are savages." IGNACIO OCHOA, director of the Nahual Foundation that promotes Mayan culture, adds, "Gibson replays... an offensive and racist notion that Maya people were brutal to one another long before the arrival of Europeans and thus they deserved, in fact, needed, rescue." But RICHARD HANSEN, who worked as consultant archaeologist on the project, insists Gibson went to extreme lengths to ensure his film was historically accurate.