The Mission (1986)


Link: The Mission

Summary: After his killing his brother in a jealous rage, a slave trader repents and seeks penance by becoming a Jesuit missionary and attempting to save a native tribe from colonists who seek to take over their lands.

Thoughts: I thought this was a very beautiful film, in the thematic sense.  It doesn’t try to donk you on the head with its religious themes; rather it allows the characters to follow their conscious without judging them.  That is, without trying to tell the audience whose decisions are right and whose are wrong.  It simply lets the characters make their decisions and live out their consequences.  This, of course, allows the audience to interpret the events as they see fit, without being didactic.  When the colonists invade the forests of the native tribe, one character decides to fight the colonists, while the other believes engaging in such violence to be against the teachings of Christianity.  Who’s right and who’s wrong?  The film doesn’t tell you; it just portrays both characters as believable and lets the situation play out.  The film also features another one of Ennio Morricone’s beautiful scores, as any lover of film music knows Gabriel’s Oboe whether or not they’ve seen the film.

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