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The Mission
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  • Panoramic Morality Tale
    I was interested in seeing "The Mission" when it first came out. I didn't realize that it would take over 20 years before I finally was able to take it in. It seems to have aged well but, then, most historical epics usually do. I was overwelmed by the magnitude of the cinematography. The falls that we revisit often in the film were worth the price of admission.

    The film tells of an historic event in which Jesuit priests created some missions in an area around Brazil's southeastern border. The time was around 1750 during which Spanish and Portugese settlements were expanding and civilizing. The Jesuits expand their missionary work to a remote area as we start following the story. The underlying motives of the settlers and the priests are in conflict and Rodrigo, Robert DeNiro's character, is a man who switched between the two factions. We get the general idea as to what will happen. The same thing always happens in these circumstances. After a lot of talk and frontier diplomacy, conflict ensues and the film ends with a sense that the next generation will have to regroup further into the jungle.

    Much of "The Mission" was quite compelling. The dialogue between the priests and the Cardinal was interesting at times and predictible at other times. I was bothered by the director's failure to consider that the children that had significant roles in this film did not age. It left the impression that the incredible transformation from "savage" to converted and cultured took place in less than a year's time.

    This is a movie that makes many people mad at "civilization". It really is hard to figure out who are the good guys and, I believe, that was intential. It may be that there isn't more than one who fits that title. Maybe that's too many. ...more info
  • Breathtaking
    Fantastic actors, gorgeous cinematography and a hauntingly elegant score. One of the most touching scenes (and one of my favorites) is where Robert Deniro's character goes through penance. This is a truly remarkable film....more info
    One of my all time favorite movies and soundtracks, very moving. I love it and never tire of listening to it and watching it. ...more info
  • Great movie...
    Thanks Mr. Lannig for allow us class time to view this amazing movie. It has great moral meaning, lessons taught by this film are innumerable. "Forgiveness"...Well all and all this was a great movie highly recommened for jsut about anyone....more info
  • Great Movie That Moved Me Personally! The Sign of a Classic!
    This movie moved me (no pun intended) on a number of levels as its theme of hypocrisy, greed, betrayal and the inhumanity and cruelty of man hits home hard and yet I couldn't help but feel that it was a little too short at just a little over 2 hours long. Perhaps this film too was a victim of commercial factors and that it was edited to this time frame but if ever a film would be better off for being longer it would have to be this one.

    I felt the characters didn't have time to develop enough and that this fine wine didn't get to breathe before we were forced to drink it. I felt DeNiro's story at the beginning and his character could have benefitted from some development and I would have liked to have seen more of the everyday life of the tribe and their spiritual development.

    For this reason, I hope a good Director's Cut Blu-ray version is released soon as this movie if given the chance to slowly unravel has the potential to be at least as good as "Lawrence of Arabia". This doesn't mean that this is a bad film in any way but it certainly could have been at least a little bit better. In fact it is a testimony to how good this film is in that I'm actually asking for it to be at least 3 hours long instead of wishing the running length to be shorter as I do for many other films.

    As someone from Portuguese/Asian descent who is also Catholic; this film moved me greatly as it reminded me of how imperfect some of my ancestors both of descent and of faith were and I was actually very sad by many of the scenes. The fact that Portugal still allowed slavery even after Spain "abolished" it sickens me and the fact that the Church had so little faith in their beliefs to engage tragically in the politics of the time to totally pervert Christ's teachings leaves me also with great disappointment.

    The Cardinal's inexplicable decision to not protect the innocent and Christ's little innocent ones from effectively what became Satan's minions showed his great lack of faith in the very religion he professes to follow. His misplaced concern that the Jesuits would be wiped out of existance as being a worthy reason to commit a gross sin of omission and allow genocide for greed sickened me. If it was God's will to protect the Jesuits, nothing would have threatened them and all they needed to do was to do the simple command of Jesus to go forth and spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Jeremy Irons does this to the bitter end and hence imitates Christ the best while everyone else ironically does the opposite and does Satan's work in the name of Christ. I found the scene where even the Blessed Sacrament is shot at to be the most touching as "followers" of Christ actually shoot at Him. This film will stay with me for a long time as I ponder the many aspects over time.

    This dvd is very well put together as well as I really like the mostly cardboard packaging and the bonus dvd is a real treat describing the making of the film as well as highlighting how natives in South America are still being abused and exploited to this day. The picture quality is very good and so is the sound quality although I would repeat that a longer, Director's Cut version restored both picture and sound-wise in Blu-ray would be a real treat. With the 25th anniversary of the film due in a couple of years time, this would be a good opportunity to do such a project.

    I wait with bated breath!

    Recommended!...more info
  • A cult movie all the way!
    This magnificent work is an admirable evidence of the multiple possibilities of facing the elusive character of the truth is what it beats you more.

    We have a Spanish Jesuit in search of conversion; on the other side of the coin we have a hunter slave whose nasty behavior is an act of instinctive reject. But as I told you previously, the truth is a capricious lover. When Spain decides sell the colony to Portugal this mercenary fights bravely against the common aggressor, and then suddenly we tend to accept him. This fabulous picture, far beyond its intrinsic virtues, such as memorable photography, superb cast and splendid edition work focuses around the unevenness of the so well know absolute statements. Who is the bad guy and who is the good guy? Is the human justice or divine justice which must prevail at the end of this dispute? Are you able to accept the violence in name of God and reject another kind of violence, because of the truth must impose, but what truth: yours or the enemy `s true?

    Admirable film that still remains shining with radiant energy.

    ...more info
  • The Mission
    I have always loved this movie, but especially love the music used in the soundtrack. It lifts the soul....more info
  • Letting the Story tell the Story -- A Fine Film
    There is a historical and sorrowful story about how colonial imperialism and a church more concerned with its political power than its charge to protect its new native converts, lead to the destruction of a South American Indian tribe. This movie captures that story powerfully through an excellent mixture of dramatization and historical faithfulness.

    It is to the credit of the film that it avoids coming off as moralistic, judgmental, or naively black and white. This is not to say that this is not a clash of good and evil, it is. Slavery is evil. The church's shift from offering true sanctuary to the hunted natives to abandoning those sanctuaries is evil. The political struggle between Spain and Portugal that creates the opening for the slavers to resume their trade is evil. But would it not also be evil if the intercession of the church resulted in the destruction of its ability to do any good elsewhere? The film avoids characterizing this latter concern as of no consequence, but its narrative shows that the wrong decision was made.

    Another moral issue that arises is the choices two Jesuits make when they decide to resist the church's decision to abandon the Indian sanctuaries. One, a former slaver and mercenary, chooses to lead the natives in battle. The other, to whom the maxim "God is love" is the foundation of his worldview, chooses to lead the natives in prayer. Here again, however, the film does not treat the correctness of either choice as a foregone conclusion. You feel sympathy and understanding for both paths.

    A closing dialogue captures one of the movies' messages. A governor is consoling a Bishop who is not sure he made the right decision about the native sancutaries:

    Governor: "Your emminence, thus is the world"

    Bishop: "No, thus have we made the world."

    The acting is superb, the cinementography is truly beautiful, and the message is conveyed through the narrative rather than through preachy dialogue. This set also includes welcome features, including a full-length director's commentary and a documentary that visits the South American location and the plight of the natives there. ...more info
  • My thoughts on The Mission
    I had to watch this moving in a spanish class I took in college. I believe the movie has a powerful story of showing how the Spainards and Porgues conquored the indians of Brazil. I think it can relate to England and other European countries conquoring the new world. This moving did make me tear up at the end when they massacured tribes....more info
  • A powerful movie, for the most part
    Set in Paraguay in 1750, a Jesuit mission faces extinction for political reasons in Europe. Robert De Niro is a slave trader who one day kills his brother when he finds him in the arms of his fiance. He becomes guilt ridden, goes to the local monastery, and wishes to do penance. A missionary (Jeremy Irons) invites De Niro to return with him to his mission deep in the jungle; his penance is toting a heavy sack of material things behind him. Climbing up a huge waterfall he almost dies lugging this junk, but he refuses to let go. Finally, the Indians, whom he hates and vice-versa, cut the sack free, and he is overwhelmed by a feeling of forgiveness. He wants to join the Jesuits, and is reminded he will have to take a vow of obedience. From here on we can see what's coming, and what was once a powerful movie becomes more routine. Portuguese troops come to close the mission, and the Jesuits are ordered to leave by their superior. Of course, De Niro refuses and decides to fight it out to his death. (Irons disobeys orders, too, but sits and prays with the natives and does not fight.) The movie is visually stunning and mostly entertaining, although the ending is cliche ridden....more info
  • The Moose Hole - Misguided 'Mission'
    When it comes to three talented performers as Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, and Liam Neeson, each one of us has a specific film role or feature film they have been in that comes automatically to our minds when we hear their names. For De Niro, he has benefited quite profitably from teaming up with director Martin Scorsese decades ago in Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, among others, as well as appearing in the Godfather series, the politically controversial Wag the Dog, and The Deer Hunter. Jeremy Irons is probably best known for his villainous voice role in The Lion King and his role opposite Bruce Willis in Die Hard with a Vengeance. And Liam Neeson's star has risen in part to critical praise of his roles in Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List and Kinsey, as well as more mainstream hits as Star Wars: Episode I and Love Actually. But few would even fathom remembering the film of which all three of these actors share in common - The Mission.

    The story for The Mission adheres presently to the historical events of the era and actions that would have taken place during the mid-1700s, specifically around the year 1750 CE, but in doing so the interests of its audience are alienated. Be it either from an unwillingness to take creative chances with the storyline or the lack of serious character development amongst the lead roles, The Mission more often then not bores its public into submission. Unless you happen to be genuinely invested within the time period in which this film is set against then it will be quite difficult to remain concerned for the outcome of the events onscreen. But the purpose of The Mission far exceeds the level of merely expressing to its audience the heart-wrenching tale of the turbulent changes taking root amongst the native Indian populations of Latin America during the mid-1700s but instead uses allegory to connect to after effects caused by the Treaty of Madrid of 1750 and the political turmoil within the same region in the 1980s, something that would hit home with its target audience. In reference back to the historical records of the time, in the year 1750 AD the countries of Spain and Portugal came to an accord in which they signed a document called the Treat of Madrid. The agreement allowed Spain to retain all territory west of modern-day Uruguay and Portugal kept the Amazon, Mato Grosso, Goias, and Rio Grande do Sul.

    Robert De Niro's engaging and captivating performance as Rodrigo Mendoza, the former mercenary searching through redemption in the tropical missionary built by the Jesuit order, has to certainly be one of the most surprising and magnificent roles of his exhaustive film career. Glancing back toward Robert De Niro's promising career during the 1980s sincerely demonstrates how far the enduring talent has fallen over the years with roles in such horrid features as Godsend and Hide & Seek. The struggle for the film's audience is that they are directed emotionally to be supportive or sympathetic toward Rodrigo, especially near the end of the film, but clearly do not understand as to why they should feel this way. Seeing as how Rodrigo never expresses exactly, either to himself or to others within the Jesuit order, as to what he true feelings or intentions are toward a particular course of action, it is quite understandable as to why this would an inconvenience to the audience's way of thinking. The lack of character of development, which truthfully is not limited merely to De Niro's character, leaves far too many question unanswered. Beyond being merely family-related, why does Rodrigo feels as horrible as he does about killing his brother having been a mercenary most of his adult life, and thus having inflicted such brutal punishment, or worse, on a regular basis? Why does he agree to Father Gabriel's act of penance to begin with? What reason does he have for joining the Jesuit order? If for spiritual purposes then why does he withdraw back to his former way in the end, be it though for a better cause and purpose.

    Jeremy Irons' Father Gabriel is constructed in almost the exact same fashion as De Niro's Rodrigo in that the assumptions made of the character's actions are left pretty opened ended, which does not benefit the audience's understanding the film's spiritual message. In any event though, Irons' solid performance is positively convincing and connects with the film's audience more thoroughly then any other role, a statement truly deserving of praise. But if there was choice as to which character in the film should have been cut from the final reel it would undoubtedly be Liam Neeson's Fielding, a member of the Jesuit missionary order. The dilemma with his character is that he serves no actual purpose, at least none that has any lasting effects on the proceedings of the rest of the film, and contributes little if anything to The Mission's overall thematic atmosphere. Beyond a few albeit brief appearances in the two-hour feature, the role of Fielding should have been designated as nothing more then a mere cameo for Neeson rather then a supporting role as it does nothing of the sort.

    The Mission's musical composition, scored and conducted by Ennio Morricone, is truly a sight to be seen, or in this case heard, as it is truly difficult to categorize accurately unless it has been experienced personally. It ranges from purely elevated grandeur, flowing majestically as the swift guided strokes of the native Indian oarsmen convey the Cardinal through the Amazonian jungle to their mission-village, only to dabble into fits of the hysterically, unintentionally of course, awful. There should be no rational excuse for Morricone to have done this seeing as how it goes about distracting the audience from the course of the film, reoccurring every so often out of nowhere that no one can help but be confused when they hear it.

    Despite benefiting exceedingly from a well-intentioned, if not an often disconcerted, storyline and proverbial sequences of dialogue, the pacing of the film seems rather off, convincing the audience that it is longer then its actual two hour and fifteen minute time length should suggest. Furthermore, The Mission's numerous obscure, and ultimately unnecessary, uses of particular sequences or character actions should have never found their way into the final version of the film. For example, what was with the little native Indian child tag along after Rodrigo? What particular purpose did he serve within the storyline that the other children did not? And was anyone else confused, or surprised, when his laughter sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks? This might have more to say about the rather primitive sound innovations, from the modern perspective, of cinema within the 1980s then anything else but still it could have been dealt with differently then it was. And then there was the scene in which, as the Jesuit missionaries paddle their way toward the missionary village, a random tree along the river collapses into the water and then Irons makes a passing comment about it before quickly moving on. Was this truly necessary? The audience may receive somewhat of a chuckle from it but for obviously the wrong reasons, if the director had any for its inclusion.

    Overall, The Mission, be it a historically accurate depiction of the imperialistic plunder of South America within that time period, ultimately makes poor use of its genuine storyline and conventional dialogue pieces in part to its rather melancholy pacing and anti-climatic conclusion. Also, the serious lack of character development, specifically concerning Robert De Niro's Rodrigo Mendoza, prevents the audience from making an emotional investment with the actions occurring onscreen, thus eliminating the mood of excitement or intrigue from the finale. Undoubtedly The Mission is an exceptional piece of little known cinema and should be viewed for its breathtaking cinematography and philosophical exchanges of discussion, but its sloppy editing techniques and lapses in scriptural genius within the screenplay ultimately prevent it from achieving the pinnacle of achievement amongst the movie-going public....more info
  • Excellent film, based on historical facts.
    The content of the film is excellent. the DVD is good, but at some point the picture stops, few seconds after it runs again....more info
  • Beautiful, Intelligent and disturbing with one of the most moving "religious" sequences ever...
    I have always found this film to be both deeply moving and sometimes irritating (not due to the film-making, however). Its a genuinely honest film and is not manipulative.

    It shows the human condition in all its complexity and some of the themes (and, actually, occurances) of the film are not removed to the 18th century. They are still taking place in the 21st century: the exploitation of world cultures for western economic gain.

    The religious aspects of the film are even more complex with no easy answers given: all the religious characters have the strengths and frailties that come with religion: seeking to love humanity while also needing to convert the "heathen." Somtimes the two ideas can come into conflict (although most religious of a certain type don't see this).

    The most moving--and religious--sequence in the movie (and it still gets me worked up even thinking about it) is at the conclusion of Mendoza's penence. It is the act of compassion and forgiveness on the part of the Guarani of the man who had been so evil to them that Mendoza truely experiences conversion and which brings about the outpouring of real feeling both in crying and laughing. It is a deeply religious (and human) experience of love--and the most Christian moment in the film.

    Did the Guarani show this love and compassion only because of the work of the Jesuits or out of some enherent quality of their society and culture?

    But that's for another discussion---

    ...more info
  • Stunning
    This is a true story and it is a very sad one in the history of the west and of the church.
    Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson and many more take us through the history of slavers in South America. Irons, who plays a Spanish Jesuit Priest, goes into the wilderness to build a mission, to convert the Indians. DeNiro plays a slaver who eventually joins Irons' mission and serves the native peoples.

    The main question in this film is that of ownership, and the right to make slaves. The mission begins in Spanish territory that is sold to the Portuguese. The Portuguese do not want to accept that the natives are humans - but at best trained monkeys - and that their Christianity does not protect them from becoming slaves. The Cardinal who came to oversee the decision came with a decision already made, and his inner turmoil, as the narrator, draws the viewer into the political side of the decision and the political side of the church's role in the decision, at that time, in a way that few other films ever have.

    The film is a cinematographic masterpiece. While watching the movie, pay close attention to light and darkness, the music, and the angles used in filming. This movie is great and a must see because of the story it tells and the way it tells it. It is truly a film and not just a movie.
    ...more info
  • Worth watching on so many levels
    So much has been written about The Mission and it has received so many plaudits, that it is redundant to re-list them here. Suffice it to say that this film remains hugely worth watching on every significant level: photography, musical score, acting, etc. One can only envy those who get to watch it for the first time.

    The bonus documentary about the challenges and advantages of using actual natives to play the Guarani is worth watching as well. ...more info
  • Rese?a de la Misi¨®n
    La pel¨ªcula, La Misi¨®n, fue muy fuerte y triste a la vez. Los eventos de la pel¨ªcula son verdaderos y ocurrieron en Am¨¦rica del Sur en el a?o 1750, en las fronteras entre Argentina, Paraguay, y Brasil. La pel¨ªcula empieza con una escena de un sacerdote jesuita de m¨¢rtir encima de una cruz. Las ind¨ªgenas guaran¨ªes lo pusieron en el ri¨® y en poco tiempo cay¨® de una cascada grand¨ªsimo. Cuando el jefe de la iglesia o¨ªa de este, mand¨® otras jesuitas al pueblo donde la jesuita de la primera escena fue matada. Una de las jesuitas, Padre Gabriel, se aventur¨® a la selva y pudo convertir a las ind¨ªgenas al cristianismo.

    Por un tiempo las ind¨ªgenas viv¨ªan en paz, pero finalmente los mercenarios y comerciantes de esclavos vino. Entre ellos fue Rodrigo Mendoza. Rodrigo estaba enamorado de Carlotta, una mujer de su ciudad. ¨¦l pensaba que ella estaba enamorada de ¨¦l, pero en realidad ella estaba enamorada del hermano de Rodrigo, Felipe. Ella le dijo esto a Rodrigo y ¨¦l se puso enojado. Fue loco cuando cogi¨® a Felipe y Carlotta haciendo el amor. Despu¨¦s de atraparles, Rodrigo mat¨® a su hermano.

    Despu¨¦s de la muerte de su hermano, ten¨ªa remordimientos de conciencia. ¨¦l se puso deprimido y no pudo hacer nada. Padre Gabriel se encontr¨® con Rodrigo y los dos pensaban de caminos en que Rodrigo podr¨ªa compensar de su pecado. Padre Gabriel trajo a Rodrigo a su misi¨®n a San Carlos y en el camino Rodrigo llev¨® una bolsa de armadura pesada arriba de una monta?a.

    En tiempo, Rodrigo convirti¨® al cristianismo y se puso un sacerdote jesuita. ¨¦l ayud¨® construir y mejorar la misi¨®n de San Carlos. Hab¨ªa pocos cambios de los territorios portugueses y espa?oles. Un cambio, la misi¨®n San Carlos estaba el territorio de los portugueses en vez de los espa?oles. El jefe de la iglesia visit¨® a unas de las misiones y decidi¨® que las misiones no estar¨¢n protegidas de la iglesia espa?ol porque ahora est¨¢n en el territorio de los portugueses.

    Los portugueses quer¨ªan que las ind¨ªgenas regresar a la selva y dejar de la misi¨®n. Las ind¨ªgenas no entendieron por que ten¨ªan que dejar de su hogar. Decidieron que no dejar¨¢n sin luchando.

    Esta pel¨ªcula me pongo muy enojada y triste. Quer¨ªa llorar. Cuando realic¨¦ la realidad que cosas como ocurrieron en la pel¨ªcula todav¨ªa ocurren hoy me pongo furiosa. La pel¨ªcula me hizo odiar seres humanos. No entiendo por que unos piensan que son m¨¢s importantes y mejores que otras personas. Fue dif¨ªcil para yo ver el maltrato de las ind¨ªgenas. Por la otra mano, me gustaba el cambio que ocurri¨® en Rodrigo - fue como noche a d¨ªa. Este es un testimonio del poder de Dios. Recomendar¨ªa esta pel¨ªcula con certeza.
    ...more info
  • powerful movie
    The Mission gives the viewer a look into the exploitation of South America by Europeans. A missionary and a slave trader's lives become intertwined. The message is powerful and the music is haunting. Beautiful movie....more info
  • The Mission - Summary
    The year is about 1750. The location is the middle of South America; in a rain forest in Paraguay. It is Father Gabriel's funeral. The Indians put Father Gabriel's body, strapped to a cross, in the river and push it over the waterfall. This is the opening scene of the movie, The Mission, a story of colonialization. The movie flashes back to before Father Gabriel's death. Father Gabriel, a Jesuit played by Jeremy Irons, is in the rain forest jungle, playing the flute. The Indians from the Guarini tribe, hearing the flute, come and gather around him. One Indians takes the flute and breaks it. Father Gabriel tries to fix the flute but it can't be repaired. Another Indian, who Captain Rodrigo Mendoza, a slave trader played by Robert De Niro, shoots, is caught in a trap. Father Gabriel gets angry at Rodrigo. Rodrigo brings the Indians into the town. A girl, Carlotta, tells Rodrigo that she loves Felipe, Rodrigo's brother, and this causes Rodrigo to be sad because he loves the girl and angry because the girl he loves loves his brother. The next morning there is a parade and a celebration. Rodrigo comes into Felipe's bedroom and he sees Felipe and the girl in bed. Rodrigo storms out onto the street and Felipe runs after him. The two men fight until Felipe dies when Rodrigo stabs him out of his rage. A few months later, during which time Rodrigo has been in prison, Father Gabriel goes to visit Rodrigo. Father Gabriel tells him he can choose his own penance for his crime of murdering his brother. Rodrigo decides that he will drag a netful of amour and weaponry up a mountain. He does this day after day until when an Indians cuts the rope that tied Rodrigo and the net signaling to Rodrigo that he was being to hard on himself. Father Gabriel gives a book to Rodrigo, from which Rodrigo studies. After a short ceremony in the chapel, Rodrigo is declared an official Jesuit.
    Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Madrid in which Spain (where slavery has become illegal) has to give some of the Indian land to Portugal (where slavery is legal). In order to keep the Jesuits from being forced out of Portugal, the pope orders the Jesuit missions in South America to be closed. That would mean that the Indians living on the missions would be abandoned and left to be captured by the slave traders. A group of men, one of which is the emissary of the pope, and horses arrive at the mission to share this news with Father Gabriel. There is a meeting in which the future of the Indians is discusses. Rodrigo gets angry at Don Cabesa for what Don says, but the next day Rodrigo apologizes. The emissary starts off on a trip during which he will visit different missions. He sees the Indians working on the plantation farms and carving the musical instruments. One Indian priest tells the emissary that everything at his mission is shared equally in hopes that his mission will be saved. At San Carlos the emissary pronounces that all the Indians must leave the mission. The Indians don't want to and then the emissary says that is God's will for them to go back to the jungle. In response, the Indians say it was God's will that brought them out of the jungle and into the mission in the first place. Although Jesuits take a vow of pacifism, Rodrigo takes the sword when the young Indian boy offers it to him. Rodrigo knows he is the only one who can teach the Indians to defend themselves. An Indians and Rodrigo steal gunpowder from the sailors. When stealing the gunpowder, one sailor wakes up and begins to yell. To silence him, Rodrigo kills him. Rodrigo asks for Father Gabriel's, who refuses to participate in the actual act of fighting. Father Gabriel gives him his necklace with the cross on it. The Indians and Rodrigo fight the Portuguese in the forest and in canoes in the lake. The Portuguese soldiers siege the town and Rodrigo tries to detonate the cannon-type apparatus he made with the stolen gunpowder but it doesn't explode. Rodrigo is shot and as he is dying he see Father Gabriel walking calmly with the Indians while holding a gold cross. Father Gabriel is shot and falls to the ground and then Rodrigo finally dies. The town is basically destroyed and there is a great scene showing the fiery inferno of the mission and many people, both Portuguese and Indians, being killed. The movie ends with a meeting of the governor and the emissary. The emissary is not sure if he made the right the choice.
    The governor says, "Your eminence, thus is the world."
    The emissary replies " No, thus we made the world."
    The closing dialogue displays one of the messages of the movie- the destruction that colonialism and the slave trade caused.
    ...more info
  • SAT Hatter
    This is one of those beautiful movies that lets you see a reflection of your own humanity. Whether you are the slave trader, the priest, the politician, or the innocent, you will truly see a reflection of who you are in the story of this movie. That is not to say that you are going to find the meaning of life just by watching this film, but you may get a better understanding of how the many different types of people in this world interact with eachother. Please watch this movie with an open mind and an open heart. I know that I wanted to be a better human being after seeing this story.

    If you don't have a wide screen TV, please find a friend who does, because this is one of those rare movies where the beauty of the scenery makes all the difference in the world. If I had a better TV, I would watch this film at least once a week, just to remind myself of who I want to be, and what I want to accomplish in this world. ...more info
  • Powerful film about religion and politics
    The Mission is a tremendous film about South America colonial politics in the 18th century. Based on a true story, it shows how Catholic Missions and their priests on one level protected Indian tribes from greedy businessmen, while the Church hierarchy had to compromise with the Spanish and Portuguese governments in order to prevent the Church's complete expulsion from South America (Unfortunately, the Portuguese eventually did kick the Jesuit Missionaries out of their colonies, thus removing the most active protectors of the native peoples).

    The film also focuses on the power of faith to redeem even the most rotten of scoundrels (Deniro). A touching, fantastic, and powerful film. No wonder the Vatican (on their website) rates The Mission as one of the top 100 films of all time. ...more info
  • History is not dead by repetitive and cycliical
    A film that comes from so far away 22 years ago that the story, or the history, of the film is no longer important, but was it important even in 1986? Today the struggle between the two Christian kings of Portugal and of Spain on one hand, though hostile to each other when the other party is absent, and the church on the other hand, a church that is also divided between the European hierarchy that only sees the survival they have to go through in Europe by defending there their interests by sacrificing a few missions in South America. Today these details are irrelevant The Christian church or churches have long abandoned this kind of policy, particularly the Catholic church. But today the general pattern of the story, the massacre, the slaughter, the slaying of a whole Indian, local population to the sole interest of the colonial powers who try to put their hands on the riches and resources of some foreign countries, like oil in Iraq for instance is quite a familiar story. And what about that American war hero who became an American war hero in a war that killed several million people and devastated a whole country for the sole political and economic interests of one country, one country alone. Who cares in the west about the local indigenous population that gets killed by western bullets? Like The Sons of The Pioneers used to sing, "Lie Low, Little Doggies, Lie Low on the Ground". We are living in a world that stands upside down in two ways. It is still standing upside down if we consider normal human ethics that tells us to help the poor and the weak and to respect the goods and property of other people, particularly their national territory. And yet that world that is upside down is in the process of tilting over and then getting upside down a second time, which might bring it upside up and downside down. The champion of deregulated free market jungle economy is nationalizing most of the American banking system and is getting ready to do the same with the car industry that has been playing with bankruptcy for quite a few years now. Less state he says the candidate of the party of this president. Yet this president nationalizes all that is getting into difficult straits by their own fault, but he does not forget that public money is the property of the rich since they did not contribute much and he is trying to give them a financial bonanza for their dumb incompetence. You see the pattern. That pattern that is still alive like hell and kicking like a dumb mule. Don't worry, as usual, before the world gets back to upright many people will be killed and will die. Before Brazil got a president that is starting the reversal of that historical injustice and mistake of 1750, quite a few millions were killed or enslaved or tortured or assassinated or whatever provided death was the end of it. But this film gives you another element of that pattern. The powerful who plan to genocide you manage to present the whole matter in such a way that you have to agree to foot the bill which will hurt you or otherwise the depression that would ensue would not only hurt, it would bring humanity a few hundred million individuals down, lower and shorter. And in the back of their heads they believe that this is sustainable since for at least twenty or thirty years the overpopulation of the world will be slowed down. As these vultures would say: there is always a positive point in any negative event. But the more I try to think positively the more I stand on the side of all these priests, these Jesuits, those who fought and died fighting and those who did not fight and died trying to bring God's word down on earth. The only thing that came for all of them was bullets, bullets and more bullets. Is that pattern human, historical, or plain characteristic of one particular period? But why does it come back up so regularly through the centuries?

    Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine, University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne & University Versailles Saint Quentin en Yvelines
    ...more info
  • The Central Significance
    After several viewings of this film, the very core of its meaning seems to be borne by these few words:

    Cardinal Altamirano: And you have the effrontery to tell me that this slaughter was necessary?

    Cabeza: I did what I had to do. Given a legitimate purpose which you sanctioned, I would have to say yes. In truth, yes.

    Hontar: You had no alternative, Your Eminence. We must work in the world. The world is thus.

    Cardinal Altamirano: No, senhor Hontar. Thus have we made the world. Thus have I
    made it.

    The Cardinal's final words are dedicated to those of us who remain blithely convinced that history and human events are mere relics of school rooms, divorced from the critical choices of our present which the future must bear.

    Cardinal Altamirano's last sentence is intensified by his unexpected reappearance in an unusual final scene following hard upon the end of film credits, unseen by most theater patrons as they hasten toward the auditorium exits. He offers no preachment. He speaks not a word. His world-weary eyes engage us directly, and we know the meaning of this baleful stare beyond utterance....more info
  • DeNiro & Iron's Mission
    I first saw this thought-provoking film on the big screen in 70mm and believed it to be one of the best films of the 80's. Unfortunately the film opened to disappointing business in the U.S. but did much better in Europe (It received a Golden Palm at Cannes). DeNiro and Irons each give excellent performances of 2 men caught in conflict over the problems of church vs state in the colonization of the tribes in the Americas. Many people thought this to be a religious film but it is far more than that. Rather to divulge a lot about the plot, I would rather imply that this film is a triumph in the sense that it is action filled spectacle that makes us think rather than just entertain us. It's too bad that director Roland Joffe has descended nowadays to doing a slasher film with an American actress (Elisha Cuthbert). Anyway do see this film for the direction, the stars and of course, the evocative score by Ennio Morricone who should've won the Oscar that year. ...more info
  • A disappointment
    My disappointment is because, having received the disc, I found it would not work in European format. The subject of the film was the basis of a discussion I had with several friends when the bi-centenary of the abolition was discussed. I told of this film which I had seen in the UK some years back. As I could neither see it nor show it, I lost my argument!!...more info
  • The reviewer's got it wrong!
    Tom Keogh's editorial review got it wrong. This is a magnificent movie. The background is historically accurate. The music, much of which was written by South American composers during the 17th century, is flawlessly performed. The story is gripping, and one comes away with an accurate picture of what was going on at the time. It's one of the best movies I've seen in many years.

    It seems that not many customer reviews agree with Tom Keogh. ...more info
  • The Mission
    This movie is probably my all time favorite. I have watched it over and over again. The music is thrilling, gentle, and sad. Most moving performances. I have the sound track also, it is most enjoyable. It is a lesson in life. BRAVO!...more info
  • Wonderful !!!!
    is a wonderful movie, hit the good heart and is a classic that should not be missing at home...more info
  • The Mission continues to be one of my all time favorite film
    The Mission continues to be one of my all time favorite films. The sceanography of the Amazon jungle is breathtaking not only because of its vast beauty, but because of the context; Watching De Niro clamoring up the precarious falls is just one of the many images that elicits a holding of one's breath.

    The other major reason that I am profoundly impressed each time I watch this film is its poignant fictional representation of how the Vatican and the Catholic European monarchs of the colonial period prioritized profiteering and political intrigue over winning souls. It betrayed the innocents and sanctioned their massacre and slavery by turning away and shrugging it off with a tear(reminiscent of WWII).

    As any great movie elicits a strong emotional reaction from its audience, this one elicits a flood of grief and appropriately righteous indignation at the sickening atrocities and social injustices of the "civilized Christians" against a people who had no real defense against the subjugation of militarily more advanced colonizers.

    Here we see a fictitious yet historically accurate account of how, once again, the powers and principalities of the day will justify their own gain and security at the ex pence of others rather than doing what is right ethically and, ironically, that which is truly representative of Christianity.

    There are many other components of this story of which one can ponder and discuss, such as the quality of the acting of the children and the politics of the 16th and 17th century Jesuits, the early "Liberation Theologists", and martyrdom, social anthropology, ethnography and the affect on a primitive culture by exposure to another in the attempt to study it(or 'help' it), existentialism, mysticism, global politics and commerce, labor out-sourcing...just to name a few.

    Politics and religious ethics aside, The Mission is a gorgeous, visually rich film with what can be considered one of the best casts imaginable performing their utmost best...what more could anyone expect of a film...if it were re-released it would be among the few movies worth paying to see in theaters. Also, if it were released as a DVD it would be one of the handful of movies worth owning.

    ...more info
  • So compelling...tear provoking film
    The way in which The Mission, which is set c. 1750, integrates the life of Rodrigo Mendoza, a former capturer of indigenous people for the slave trade, to the lives of Jesuit missionaries and the lives of the indigenous people of Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil is absolutely amazing.
    I would like to focus on the issue of the indigenous culture of South America that is portrayed in the film-the Guarani Indians. I feel that the lenses through which the indigenous people are viewed in the film are realistic, as you can say. There are, basically, two perspectives on the indigenous people in the film. The first perspective views the indigenous people as "animals." This perspective is held by Don Cabeza and by other representatives that back up Spain's and Portugal's intentions to take over the land of the indigenous, as well as to enslave them. The second perspective is shared by Father Gabriel, Rodrigo (who, ironically, has become a Jesuit and, therefore, serves the interests of the indigenous people), and the other Jesuit missionaries; this perspective views the indigenous people as valuable human beings with rights.
    The relationship among the indigenous community and the Europeans begins by being hostile, for the first Christian priest to arrive to the area is murdered. However, Father Gabriel accomplishes to win the love and trust of the indigenous people.
    The role that religion plays in the film is extremely important. The indigenous people come to believe the word of the Jesuits-that is, that it is God's will for them to abandon the jungle and build a mission. Their convictions grow to be so strong that later, when the Cardinal, who professes to speak for Portugal's king and for the Catholic Church, insists that it is crucial for them to abandon the mission, the Guarani leader opposes to do so and, instead, fights back. Other aspects, regarding the relationship among the Europeans and the indigenous people, that stand out in the video are the indigenous people's adoption of European religious rituals, beliefs and daily life practices, the role that language plays, and lastly, the issue of power among the oppressing entities of politics and religion.
    In conclusion, I definitely recommend The Mission. It is one of the most compelling videos that I have ever watched, and what is most compelling about it is that its historical aspect is actually based on facts. It brings up the following ideas: What does it mean to be a human being? Who has the right to determine what a human being's rights are? How can men be capable of being so selfish, inhumane and cruel to other human beings, yet they are also capable of being so loving and altruistic in such a way that they are willing to give up their lives for others?
    ...more info
  • The Mission
    I watched The Mission in a class that I'm currently taking about the Literature of Human Rights in Latin America. The Mission is about the colonial time in South America and shows the treatment of indigenous people and human rights. If we really focus on this movie as a human rights oriented, we could see how the Indians were being treated by the Europeans. They would capture, slave them, exploit them, and the Indians have no saying in the matter; for the Europeans they were like animals, they have no voice, they were nothing. So they could do as they wished with them.
    On the other hand there were the Jesuits who saw them as humans who needed guidance, understanding, someone who needed to be converted into Christianity, trying to save them.
    I see this movie as a way to create awareness about the violation of human rights, to create consciousness. To make us realize that we are the only ones who can change the injustice in our society.
    Honestly for anyone who likes a good movie, this is the one. This is a movie that transcends the years and its idea can be applied to our time. In my opinion this movie tries to influence of emotions and feelings to make us think about the current situations that our world is in terms of human rights, because we are the only ones who can change the present and provide a better future by looking at the past.

    Mir¨¦ la misi¨®n en una clase que estoy tomando actualmente sobre la literatura de los derechos humanos en Am¨¦rica latina. La misi¨®n es sobre el tiempo de la colonia en Suram¨¦rica y muestra el tratamiento de ind¨ªgenas y de los derechos humanos. Si nos centramos realmente podemos ver que esta se orienta mucho en mostrar los derechos humanos, podemos ver c¨®mo a los europeos trataban a los indios. Los capturaban, los esclavizan, los explotan, y los indios no pod¨ªan defenderse; para los europeos ellos eran como animales, ellos no ten¨ªan ninguna voz, no eran nada. Pod¨ªan hacer con ellos los que les daba la gana.
    Por otro lado estaban los jesuitas que los miraban como seres humanos que necesitaban de direcci¨®n, comprensi¨®n, los ve¨ªan como alguien que necesitaba ser convertido al cristianismo, intentando salvarlos.
    Veo esta pel¨ªcula como una manera de informar sobre la violaci¨®n de los derechos humanos, para crear concientizaci¨®n. Para que nos demos cuenta que somos los ¨²nicos que podemos cambiar la injusticia en nuestra sociedad.
    Honesto para cualquier persona que tenga gusto de una buena pel¨ªcula, ¨¦sta es esa pel¨ªcula. ¨¦sta es una pel¨ªcula que trasciende los a?os y su idea se puede aplicar a nuestro tiempo. En mi opini¨®n esta pel¨ªcula intenta influenciar nuestras emociones y sentimientos para hacernos pensar en las situaciones actuales de nuestro mundo en t¨¦rminos de los derechos humanos, porque somos los ¨²nicos que podemos cambiar el presente y proveer un futuro mejor mirando el pasado.
    ...more info
  • The Mission 1986 - Post review
    This movie was compelling & full of breathtaking scenery in Columbia which was based upon the Indian tribes in the upper regions high above cascading waterfalls, to be converted by Christianity. Robert De Niro & Jeremy Irons were the leading characters of this beautiful movie which encapsulated the heart in a spellbound though dramatic conclusion. I found that these actors put more emphasis on the culture of the tribes people and their way of life which was combined to give the audience a sense of warm embrace towards the suffering and cruelty acts which occurred between the late 1700's to the early 1800 year period. A MUST HAVE for any serious Movie Buff who wishes to transcend back in time to a civilization rich & full of culture. 5 Star rating applicable.*****...more info
  • Waiting For The Blu-Ray Of This Magnificent Film
    The more I see this film the more I like it. First off, it has magnificent South American jungle scenery, filmed in an area that features multiple gorgeous falls. This is one of the prettiest films you will ever watch - guaranteed.

    "The Mission" won the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1986 and that award was well-deserved. There is just one stunning scene after another. I can only hope it gets a sharp Blu-Ray treatment someday. Then it will really look awesome!

    The story is very interesting, too: a supposed true-life account what happened back in the 1700s when a few dedicated priests tried to bring Christianity to the natives. It shows what occurred when a combination of the Catholic Church and the Portugese slave-traders and politicians attempted to put a halt to their missionary. This is a drama, not an "action film," but the movie has extended violent ending, and sometimes is shocking in that finale.

    Jeremy Irons, as the dedicated Jesuit who heads the mission, and Robert De Niro in a surprise role as the killer slave-trader-turned-repentant priest are both excellent in their leading roles. It was interesting to see a young Liam Neeson, too.

    To some, the story might be a bit slow I found it very involving. After several viewings, I began to fully appreciate to lush score by Ennio Morricone. This is simply one of the prettiest and classiest movies I've seen and it's highly recommended. ...more info