Film Clips

Bartolomé de Las Casas: “Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account”

Film clip. Voices of a People’s History.
Dramatic reading of Bartolome de las Casas’ “Devastation of the Indies: A Brief Account” (1542) by John Sayles, Viggo Mortensen, and Staceyann Chin.

Time Periods: 1492
Themes: Democracy & Citizenship, Native American, Slavery and Resistance

Bartolomé de Las Casas was a contemporary of Christopher Columbus.

He witnessed Columbus present himself as a devout Christian while he kidnapped, maimed, and killed the indigenous people of Hispaniola in pursuit of gold.

Film Clip Description

Bartolomé de Las Casas’ account “Devastation of the Indies” is read here by John Sayles on October 22, 2004, at The New York Society for Ethical Culture, New York, NY. The excerpt is from Voices of a People’s History of the United States edited by Howard Zinn and Anthony Arnove.

More video clips can be found at the Voices of a People’s History website and in the film The People Speak.