1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) Script

500 years ago, Spain was a nation of fear and superstition.

The Crown and a merciless Inquisition punished all who dared to dream.

A single man defied this power, crossing the unknown sea in search of honour and gold, for the Glory of God.

Of all the words my father wrote, and there were many, I remember these most:

"Nothing in human progress is achieved with unanimous consent."

"Those enlightened before others"

"must pursue that light in spite of others."

At one time the New World didn't exist.

The sun set in the west, where no man ventured.

And beyond that... infinity!


Now... half of the hull has gone.


And now?

Now, I only see the mast.

Close your eyes. And don't cheat.

I'm watching.

Open them when I tell you.

I asked my father where he wanted to go.

He replied:

"I want to travel over the seas.

"I want to get behind the weather".


It's gone.

What does it tell you?

It's round, like this.


Come on, lad.

Good morning, Father.


Kiss your brother, Diego.

I have something for you.

You'll be heard at Salamanca University.

In a week!

That's what it says.

How did you do it?

With some difficulty.

I promised them you weren't a total fool.

Marco Polo said he found Earthly Paradise off the coast of China.

Do you believe it?

I believe in Paradise and Hell. And I do believe both can be earthly.

Now... let's go through this again.

Why do you wish to sail west?

To open a new route to Asia.

Asia is the richest Kingdom. The land of spices and gold.

There are two ways of reaching it...

By sea... Sailing around the African continent, which takes a year, or by land. But the Turks have closed the route to Christians.

There is a third way...

by sailing west across the sea.

The distance is unknown...

It's said to be infinite.


I believe the Indies are no more than 750 leagues west of the Canary Islands.

How can you be so certain?

The calculations of Toscanelli... Marin de Tyr...

Esdras... Esdras is a Jew.

So was Christ! 2 minutes... and already you're a bad man.

For telling the truth?

They're burning people for less.

The man you're to confront has no emotions.

Learn to control your passion.

It's something one can't control.

You need their blessing.

If they say no... you would have to give up.

I will not give up.

Is it ambition?

We've been told lies for so long...

The world is flat like this table...

Monsters guard the edge of the world...

I will not be told what and what not to be afraid of!

I want to find out for myself.

I just hope your passion will be contagious, my son.

Look, father!


Do you repent your sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

Burnings in the square...

They agreed to see me in Salamanca.

If they accept I could be gone for years.

I know.

I haven't given you a real life.

True, I have a child by a man who won't marry me...

Don't argue.

I'd love to argue more often, but you're never here.

Unfortunately, that is precisely where our opinions differ.

You're familiar with Aristotle? Eratosthenes? Ptolemeus?

I am, Your Eminence.

So you can't ignore their calculations that the circumference of the Earth is approximately 22,000 leagues or more... making the ocean uncrossable.

But you... may have found new evidence proving these great men mistaken!

You are aware of Marin de Tyr?

We are.

Then you are aware that his theories contradict Ptolemeus...

De Tyr believes the ocean to be only 750 leagues.

Toscanelli... and the French Cardinal D'Ailly, both think De Tyr is accurate in his calculations.

Therefore the ocean can be crossed.


Are we here to examine this man's proposal, or not?

Let's suppose...

Marin de Tyr is right. In your opinion, how long would it take?

Seven weeks.

Six, during the summer.

De Tyr is wrong.

He's contradicted by the finest... geographers.

Your voyage, Señor Colombus, would take a year.

Suppose you cross the ocean and reach Asia...

What would Spain do there?

Trade, Your Excellency.

According to Marco Polo, China is one of the richest lands in the world.

The meanest buildings are roofed in gold.

It's your only interest?



I'll bring these people to God and make them subjects of Castile and Aragon.

From a Realm, Spain will become an Empire!

If God intended our proximity to Asia do you believe he'd have waited for you to show it?

He chose a carpenter's son to reveal Himself.

So you consider yourself the Chosen One?

Asia can be found to the west... and I will prove it!

The Treasurer of Spain honours us.

The State has an interest in his proposition, Your Eminence.

With all due respect, the judgment is ours.


And if he were right?

I've always found such independent minds dangerous.

If he had wings he'd return from the skies and say heaven was empty.

I'd deplore the loss of such an opportunity for Spain.

Especially over a point of geography.

It's not geography. It's about reality.

This man is a mercenary.

States often use mercenaries.

If it is to the benefit, the stability of Spain... No?

It should be as much your concern as it is mine.

You would use your influence to assist this heretic?


Your Eminence, the fascinating thing about power... is that what can be given...

can be taken away.

And nothing could justify Your Majesties' participation in a venture that relies on feeble assumptions, and which any man of knowledge would take to be impractical... if not impossible.

They didn't listen. They don't want to listen.

Don't give in. You must wait. Wait?

After seven years, how much longer can I wait?

If God intends you to...

Damn God! Christopher!

Damn you! You sit concocting theories based on what?

You never leave your gardens. Go out!

Well then, tell me something I can accept.

These are full of assumptions!

Just lies!

All of it lies!


Don't disturb a man doing penance.

What can you do?

Nothing. That's the point, Fernando.


Señor Colombus?

I've looked all over Sevilla.

Never expected to find you in a monastery.

I'm Pinzon.

Martin Alonzo Pinzon. I'm a ship owner from Palos.

Is he a spy?

What is it? Are you a Trappist?

Vow of silence?


Just my luck.

I'll do the talking for us.

Just nod, agreed?

As with my wife.

The commission turned you down, right?

What do you expect? You're a foreigner.

And I want to help you.

Why do I believe in you? I'm a seaman, too.

We don't like to be told where to go or not to go.

I don't look much, but I have important friends.

A banker, for example.

Santangel. He finances me.

Heard of him?

He'll get you in to see the Queen.

You know why?

She owes him money.

You, me, the Queen, the world... Everybody owes something.

What do you say?

Where can I meet him? Here.

Right there.

May I ask a question?


Why do you want to help me?




But greater than all these... is banking.

Wait, Señores!

The Moors built Granada centuries ago.

We've taken it back.

A tragic victory. We're losing a great culture.

But I suppose there's a price for every victory.

Isn't there Señor Colombus?

Don Luis de Santangel to see Don Gabriel Sanchez.


Señor Columbus, Señor Pinzon.

Rise... Come forward.

I should not be listening to you since my Council said not to.

But Santangel says you're a man of honour...

And Sanchez says you're not completely mad.

No more than she who said she would take Granada from the Moors.

They believe the ocean is... uncrossable, Señor Colombus.

What did they say about Granada?

That it was impregnable.

I can't ignore my Council's verdict.

Surely you can do what you want.

How little you know.

Why should I believe in you, Señor Colombus?

May I speak freely?

You are not inclined to speak otherwise.

I know what I see.

I see someone who doesn't accept the world as it is.

Who's not afraid.

I see a woman who thinks... A woman?

Forgive me... you're the only Queen I know.

That makes us equal, you're the only navigator I know.

How old are you, Señor Colombus?

Thirty-nine, Your Majesty.

And you?

I'm forty...

You will be informed of our decision.

I thought you were younger than I.

The cost would be ruinous.

No more than the cost of two state banquets.

Two banquets, for new lands and spices... and gold.

What are you saying, Sanchez?

That if he's right we have everything to gain.

And if he's wrong... we've so little to lose.

Tell me what he says.

He demands to be made a Knight, with the right to wear the Golden Spurs.

And that he will receive the title Don Christopher Colombus, which will be passed on to his descendants.

What else?

He'll be named Admiral of the Ocean Seas.

Viceroy of the West Indies...

Governor of all islands or lands discovered, or as will be discovered by him.

The highest titles of nobility, Your Excellency.

To an immigrant sheltered by monks!

Furthermore... he'll receive one tenth of wealth or monies, precious gems, pearls, metals, spices and other lucrative sources acquired under his jurisdiction.

You worry too much, Francisco.

He'll have to lower his demands.

Believe me...

He will.

I won't!

We have considered your proposal carefully. It is excessive.

The responsibility is excessive.

Consider the contract... No.

No? No.

And I thought he was an idealist.

Idealism and ambition are not incompatible.

I've fought too hard. Now you expect me to take risks while you take the profit. No...

I'm not a servant... Señor Colombus, you are in no position... to bargain with me.

I'm not bargaining.

Then you are too ambitious.

And were you never ambitious?

Ls ambition a virtue among nobles but a fault for the rest of us?

If you won't accept we can simply find someone who will.

If you can do that, Excellency...

I'll become a monk!

Your Majesty.

He'll become a monk...

It'd be a pity, wouldn't it?

Call him back.

She said yes.

If I ever come back, I swear...

I don't want you to swear anything.

Don't wait for me.

That's something you can't decide for me.

Forgive me Father, I have sinned.

I am listening, my son.

Father... l have betrayed my family.

I betrayed my men, and I betrayed you.

I lied.

The journey is longer than I said.

How long?

I'm not sure...

How could anyone know. It could be twice the distance.

Tell them.

Tell your men. They wouldn't follow me.

You know I'm right. You must trust me.

You must speak to them. If you don't, I will.

You made an oath.

May God forgive you.

I believed in you.

Give me absolution.

Absolution, Father.

Ego te absolvo a pecatis tuis.



Sit down.


What is it, Mendez? Speak!

They wonder how you know our position with no sight of land?

What do you think, Mendez?

I know you navigate by the stars like the Moors... but I don't know how.

Take this quadrant.

Find the North Star.


Keep the plumbline vertical.

Don't move.

A mistake of one degree and we'll be off 600 leagues.

What do you read?

28. That's it!

28th parallel. And we'll follow it until we reach land.

How do you know we'll find land there?

I don't.

Mark 26, Sir.

Mark 27, Sir.

Mark 28!

Mark 29!


629, Sir.

I heard.

Captain, I don't understand.

I think I do.

We should've seen land.

We've been at sea nine weeks, Alonzo. Can't be that far.

Can't be that near.

I don't like the smell of this sea.

Smells like a whore!

'Course it does.

That's why sailors go to sea.

And why is that one at sea?

Nobody knows.

He never says a word.

Captain Pinzon requests permission to board.

You misled me. You lied to me.

We are way past 750 leagues.

Six days ago, yes. You must be mad!

Keep your voice down!

There'll be a mutiny! You think I don't know?

We're lost!

Land is there. I know it.

You don't know.

Listen, these are my ships and we are turning back.

Half of the water has gone, the rest is putrid!

I shouldn't have listened to you...

Listen, Pinzon! Pinzon.

All we can do...

is go forward.

The land is there... The land is close.

You tell that to them.

God doesn't want us to cross this ocean. This voyage is cursed.

We set sail for greed. God has abandoned us.

The voyage is cursed. There are signs.

Juanito has the voice of an angel.

His mouth is blessed, but what comes out of yours is cursed.


We're all afraid at first.

But those who overcome fear will rightly earn their reward.

I don't know if it's God's will that we should cross this ocean.

But I am certain it is you who puts fear into our hearts.

We won't be lost if we keep faith in God and in ourselves.

In time...

they will talk of the courage of the first men to cross this ocean.

You will be able to say:

I was on the Pinta...

I was on the Niña... and the Santa Maria...

My jacket to he who sights land.

And 10,000 maravedis a year for life!

Get a man aloft day and night!

Alonzo... don't let the wind escape us.

You lucky bastard!




25 fathoms!

24 fathoms!


Land ho!

Drop anchor!

Don Christopher...


By the...

By the Grace of God...

In the name of their Gracious Majesties of Castile and Aragon...

By all the powers vested in me...

I claim this island and name it...

San Salvador.

Don Christopher...

Muskets! No!

October 21st, 1492.

We have returned to Eden.

Surely this is how the world was in the beginning.

If the natives are converted to our ways then it will be by persuasion and not by force.

No man will ever see this land again as we do... for the first time.

We come in peace and with honour.

They are not savages, neither will we be.

Treat them as you would your own wives and children.

Respect their beliefs.

Pillage will be punished by the whip. Rape, by the sword.





Co... Colum... Columbus.

Co... lombus.

Where did you find this?


Thanks... I've got a river of gold to piss.




No good, no.


Alonzo! Alonzo!

Help him!

Do something!

Pray for him.

With Alonzo's death, I realise how vulnerable we are in these islands.

How much we have to learn.

On every island... the natives welcome us with great generosity and trust.

Because of our appearance we have been mistaken for gods and are treated accordingly.

Despite the Indians' compliance we have not found gold in quantity, except for the few artefacts they gave us as a sign of submission.

You will speak first.

Tell him we thank him for his hospitality.

He knows.

Some of my men are staying here to build a fort.

I want them to be well treated.

Tell him... we'll come back. Many of us.

How many?

As many as the leaves on that tree.

And many more will follow.


To bring the word of God.

He says he has a God.

And also to bring medicine.

He says... he has medicine.

Tell him... we admire his people.

He knows you like his women and gold.

Pinzon is ill... eaten up by a fever that refuses to leave his body.

We must return to Spain.

39 men have volunteered to stay behind to build a fort.

I name it... La Navidad.

After 7 months, I haven't seen a civilization that compares with Marco Polo's descriptions.

No cities, no bridges. No temples roofed with gold.

The mainland still escapes me.

But I know it's there.

My ships are not filled with the spices and gold I hoped for.

But this land intoxicates my senses and my soul.

And all I can think of is to return to this untamed land.

This unexplored Eden.

This is a chance for a new beginning.

Majestates conjuncta Hispania.

Reges Ferdinandus et Isabella executores voluntas Dei sunt et cum vobis Regnum Domini per terras novas ultra mares crescatur et in eas Crux Cristi maneat semper.

It won't be easy to get rid of him now.

On the contrary... it seems he is preparing his own cross.

Let the palate enjoy the flavour of the tobacco.

Try it.

You say this is an indian vice?

I don't see the pleasure that would make it a sin.

The Indians have no such word, Moxica.

Have they such thoughts?

They come and go naked as God created them.

God? Which God?

Nature is their God.

It's as if God and Nature were one.

They see him in a leaf... in a stone... in a shell.

The islands... are covered with trees.

Forgive me, Don Cristobal...

What about gold?

It's not the purest metal I've seen.

Is there more?

We are more than gratified, Cristobal.


You fence well. For a commoner?


Your second expedition, hm?

17 ships... and 1500 men?

Thanks to you.

This is Don Francisco de Bobadilla.

He can be valuable to you.

He's very well acquainted with our laws.

I heard you'd be appointing Governors. Will you consider my application?

Forgive me, Don Francisco.

The positions are taken.

May I ask by whom?

By two very competent men.

Men of quality?

Francisco is qualified for high administration.

Well... we do lack notaries.

Please contact my administration.

Francisco is a judge.

Good... we also need judges.

Except, there are no crimes as such.

I see I was mistaken.

He has no need for my services.


You have a special talent for making enemies.

Do I have so many already?

Don't you think to rise so high in so short a time is dangerous?


I can arrange for the Queen to take the boys into her service.

It's a great honour.

We couldn't hope for better.

Anything better? Better than being with their mother?

It's not what I meant.

What do you mean? I'll be gone... for several years.

I have powerful enemies at the court.

The boys bear my name and titles.

This way they'll be untouchable.

And you'll be free to see them when you please.

You don't know what you're asking.

I do.

I wish I could give you another life.

I am sorry.

Don't say that, because you're not.

You lead the life you chose... and I chose you.

You might have given us a choice. I'm a map maker!

And now you're Lieutenant-General of the West Indies, Bartolome!

He's just out of seminary and can't use a sword.

Never touched a sword!

You have time to learn.

What are you complaining about?

You can live the way we dream of.

I don't share your dreams.

Do you refuse to help me?

To help your brother?

Are you going to desert me?

You bastard...! You always had your own way.

I have always supported you. I know.

I went to Portugal... I know!

I'm the eldest! How could we forget?

You've said it enough.

Let me show you something.


It's about my son...


Now, who can I trust?

We're brothers. A bloodline.

I need you. Both of you.


The horses are here. This pair's magnificent!

Send them back! What?

They're like mules!

I hope you did better with men!

Who did we take on today?

30 blacksmiths. 28 halberdiers. 20 carpenters.

100 farmers.

20 miners.

And Doctor Chanca, the royal surgeon.

Then we can count on royal health.


Fire again!

Where are they?

Drummers, sound the advance!



ls this your New World, Almirante?

We will teach these animals savagery.

Three heads for every life taken. No mercy!


No Moxica!

No revenge.

These were our cousins, our friends, our countrymen.

But you say no revenge?

We will wash this in blood and now!

If you want to keep your head do as I say.

I lost friends, too.

39 brave men who trusted me.

You want war? Fine.

We are 1000. They outnumber us by 10.

Who will you kill? Which tribe?

We don't need to know. Moxica...

Try to remember who you are talking to.

We came here to stay.

Not to start a crusade.

So, we will swallow our anger.

And in the name of those who died, we will accomplish what we came for.

They're here.


Guarionex! Ricardo!



Ask him.

What happened to my men?

Warriors come from the sea.

Caribes. Guarionex says...

All fled to the hills.

When they came back all the Spaniards... had gone.

God's mercy on them.

The monkey's lying.

You talk too much.

Here they are. We should kill them.

No... You'll do it my way.

Tell him we will not harm his people.

Even though we have the power.

I'm prepared to believe him.

We will work with them and we want peace.

Ask if he understands.

He understands.

Will he help?

He says you know the answer.

Moxica... l need your horses.

My horse does no work.

We all have to work, Moxica.

Not my horse.

Forgive me, Moxica.

But it was your horse that I was talking about.

Thank you, Moxica.



My dear sons...

In unbearable heat, we are building the first city of the New World.

I brought the plans of a Florentine architect, Leonardo... da Vinci.

God willing, we will build his ideal city.

We are adapting to the indian diet.

Meat is only a memory for us.

In a week, the mill will be producing flour.

Soon, we'll be eating bread.

I'll never underestimate it again.

Nor the simple comforts of home.

You are always in my thoughts.

As ever, your Father.

You want her?

Then you can have her.

To the New World, my friend.

To the Governor...

of the mosquitoes.

She's a good cook.

What meat is it?


What's wrong? It's Indian.

I'm not an Indian.

You know Christopher, I think Giacomo is right.

We can't live on corn and pepper.

For the plantation, we need black slaves.

Everything rots before it can be harvested.

Have you noticed? The horses and pigs multiply.

They keep mounting each other... Must be the heat.

I must confess that the heat has a similar effect on me.

You're both right.

But the fort must be finished before the rains.

We must rely on our strengths.

What do you mean?

Every able man must work.

All of us. Including nobility.

They're exempt, Christopher.

Well... Now they won't be.



Name? Colpa.

What's he saying?

He's found none.

Why? Ask him why!

Stop him! Bring him back!

Hasn't found any.

He's lying.

Tell him... to put his hand on the table. Like this.

Tell them...

I know they are hiding the gold from us.

And tell them... this is how we treat thieves and liars.

Don Adrian, you cannot do this thing.

I can't?

I can.

Your act of brutality has created chaos.

All the tribes are joining forces against us.

All of that because of your criminal savagery.

Savagery... is what monkeys understand.

You should have done the same a long time ago, Don Cristobal.

Your ways... don't work.

You'll be put in detention, deprived of privileges, until you are sent to Spain for judgment.

Anything to say?

For four years now... we've been here.

We stayed here four years because we believed your promises.

But we find neither gold nor your earthly paradise.

You and your brothers... have failed.

Señor... Colombo!

Don Giacomo, come at once! What's happening?

In the mine! Get Don Christopher!

Cut him down!

Cut the ropes!

Moxica's right.

Your ways don't work.

We must find them.

Did you hear me?

You have to find them!

You see what they did?

You did the same to your God.

You know them?

Goohooni. Goohooni.





You know... what will be said about this in Spain... don't you?

You are nothing.

Your bastards will never inherit your titles.



We are everything.

We are immortal.


Don Christopher...

I wish to return to Spain.

I have no desire to remain... in this Godless place.

They are criminals.

They have a debt towards Spain. Moxica paid. They will pay, too.

I don't understand you, Don Christopher.

You treat Christians equally with heathen savages.

What do you offer in return?

A New World, Buyl.

No one wants one.

Only you.

Not only me.

Look at them.

They could go back to their families.

But they stay.

They want something new. A new world.

I'll leave... on the next ship.

Leave if you please but... your departure won't help me make this place more Godly.

Perhaps hope only exists in the journey, Giacomo.

At first everything's possible.

Every expectation, every dream.

No one expected this to be easy.

This isn't how I imagined it to be.

Marchena was right, Bartolome.

Paradise and Hell can both be earthly.

We carry them wherever we go.


Speak to me!

You never learned to speak my language.


Majesty, here are the true facts concerning Hispaniola.

Your servant Columbus, Admiral of the Seas and Governor of the island, now presides over a state of chaos, of degradation and of madness.

He had shown he was incapable of managing the islands when he gave his brothers very important positions, injuring the pride and dignity of nobles.

He promised to build a city.

"Isabel", after Your Majesty.

A group of mud huts in the wrong place, swept away by the rains and mud.

He promised gold, not finding the amounts he promised.

He has since commanded the Indians to pay a tax... a monthly tribute of gold.

Those unable to, we find, have been punished or massacred.

He forced nobility to hard labour, treating them equally with Indians.

He reduced them into his slaves.

When Adrian de Moxica protested against this, he was executed. ls this true, Brother Buyl?

Yes, Your Excellency.

All of it. I saw it.

With my own eyes.


He promised a Paradise.

He failed.

He must be replaced.


And who would you think of for such a task?

I am thinking of a man.

A man devoted to Your Majesties.

A man extremely motivated.

Excellency, I'm sorry.

Don Francisco de Bobadilla.

Yes... l remember.

My letters of appointment.

I am the new Viceroy of the Indies.


Then I can search for the mainland?

The mainland was discovered weeks ago.

By another italian.

Amerigo Vespucci, Excellency.

How far?

I'm no seaman, but I heard it's no more than a week at sea.

Not too disappointed?

How could I be?

The mainland has been found exactly as I said it would.

I'm afraid this isn't the worst news.




Oh, my God!

A man?

How did this happen?


Don't worry.

We're going to get you out.

Santangel's going to the Queen. Good.


I'll go back when they free me.

This time with me.

In your present state it is madness, Father.

You needn't come with us.


Rise, please.


I do look older than you.

I have looked for a reason why I should allow you to go back.

And though I tried I could not find one.

Help me find one.

All my life I have dreamed of reaching the continent.

I thought my dreams... grandiose.

But reality was beyond my expectations.

Far beyond.

And now...

I want to explore that land.

Before I die.

I allow you...

to undertake another voyage.

Thank you.

But without your brothers.

You can't go to Santo Domingo or the other colonies.

The New World... is a disaster.

And the old one... an achievement?

I know...

I shouldn't tolerate his impertinence.

Then why?

Because he's not afraid of me.


You're a dreamer.

Look out there.

What do you see?

I see towers.

I see palaces, steeples.

I see civilization.

And I see spires that reach... to the sky!

All created by people like me.

No matter how long you live, one thing will never change between us.

I did it.

You didn't.

You're so beautiful.

I can't believe another man has never taken you from me.

They tried... but I didn't let them.

They took everything.

Not everything.

You think I care?

I'm a free man again.

Riches don't make a man rich, they only make him busier.

God! How much I've missed you.

By the Grace of God and Your Beneficent Majesty, a new continent has now been found and claimed in the name of the Spanish Crown, in the year 1492.

As Your Majesty is aware, the University of Salamanca has always defended the theory of the existence of unknown territories to the west.

The surest route to the continent is now firmly established.

West by south-west for 750 leagues to Santo Domingo.

From there... west-north-west from San Juan to the north, reaching the island of Hispaniola on the Cape of San Raphael.

Then onto the mainland at Cape Gracias A Dios.

Spain, by Your Majesty's grace, has confirmed for all humanity, the existence of a New World.

Terra incognita.

It was discovered by a mariner commissioned by Your Majesty.

His name...

Amerigo Vespucci.


What a tragedy. What a waste of a life.

A waste?

If your name or mine is ever remembered... it will only be because of his.

Diego is at court with Santangel hoping to get your privileges restored.

But how is he?

He wants to start a pearl trade in Santo Domingo.

He has received many letters from your men.

He sent some.

This one's from Mendez. Mendez?

What does he say?

He wants to visit you. He left his address.

He never had one. Except aboard my ships.

Tell me everything you remember.

I wouldn't know where to start.

Tell me the first thing that comes to mind.

I remember...

In 1502, Columbus made a final trip to the New World with Fernando.

They reached Panama where the Indians told them of the Pacific Ocean.

His son's biography gave Columbus his rightful place in history.

In 1992, one of his descendants is Honorary Admiral of the Spanish Navy.

"There is more imagination in life than in dreams..."

Subtitling - Vectracom