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The film The Mission is a story is about how people fights for their rights. Jeremy irons who is father Gabriel, a Jesuit priest, enters the rainforest of South America with the aim of constructing a Christian mission. In this task, the main challenge is converting a small, inhabitant Guarani Indian tribe. Although this process was gradual, father Gabriel together with his group of Jesuits slowly succeeded in making friends with these inhabitants, which helped them learn their culture, as well as their language. After these Indians had gained their trust, father Gabriel was able to preach and teach them his faith.
Meanwhile, the Spanish army officer, who is also a slave trader, Rodrico Mendoza also known as Robert De Niro was flourishing in his business of the slave trade. Later, Mendoza falls in love with a woman who is in love with his younger brother. When the women confessed this to Mendoza, he feels jealous and end up killing his younger brother. This act fills his soul with sorrow and remorse and decides to committee suicide. However, father Gabriel saves him through giving him guidance.
Mendoza later joins father Gabriel in the mission of converting Indians to Christians. Mendoza realizes that he finds peace in his new faith and asks priesthood. Unfortunately, this peaceful is threatened by Spain’s decision to sell the Indians’ land to Portugal, father Gabriel and Mendoza had to find a way to protect the Indians from aggression from Portuguese as well as, their mission. Altamirano, the pope of Rome, had to decide whether the missions would remain under the church’s protection. He listened to father Gabriel’s claim over the church, but tells Indians to leave the land. Under pressure, the church surrenders the land to the Portuguese, a decision that would allow slavery again. On seeing this, Mendoza decides to organize these natives to oppose the Portuguese request of taking the land. Gabriel warns Mendoza not to start with the Portuguese, but assist the natives as their priest. As the movie ends, father Gabriel demonstrates together with the other crown in the battle. He is later martyred together with other natives. The left natives surrendered in order to re-establish the community.
The film The Mission aims at portraying the greed and imperialism that can make result fight among people. Greed is the desire to be in charge of much material wealth that is more than one requires. This especially applies to material wealth when one desires to have more wealth than others. In regard to this movie, Portuguese represents the greedy people whereby they desire to gain more land, not because they do not have enough land, but because they want to gain more profits from the land. With their slave trade business, the land would help them gain more slaves to trade. There greed did not allow them realize that it was wrong to enslave their fellow being.
Imperialism, on the other hand, is the strategy of extending authority of a nation by acquiring more territories or through establishing political and economic domination more than other nations. Portuguese in this case wanted to acquire more territories and lands that belonged to the Indian natives since they were interested to grow economically through the slave trade. The movie also portrays the power of courage whereby Mendoza is ready to fight in order to protect the natives from being enslaved by the Portuguese who were only interested in growing economically. He knows that death is worse that slavery, but still continues to fight for natives’ freedom.
The intended audiences for this film are both political and spiritual leaders. The movie tries to show how leaders sacrificed for their lives in order to protect their people. For instance, father Gabriel and Mendoza are a good example of spiritual leaders who struggled to protect the converted natives from being enslaved by the Portuguese. They protected them even when they were threatened by the Portuguese who wanted to take their territory. Father Gabriel goes to the pope of Rome to convince him that they are supposed to stay in the land. Although the natives did not end up taking control of the land, Gabriel continued to protect the natives. Mendoza, on the other hand, organized the natives to resist the Portuguese claim of taking their land so that they can introduce slave trade. Additionally, Portuguese leaders are a good example of political leaders who strive to acquire more land for economic reasons. This is seen when they buy the natives’ land from Spain in order to carry out their slave trade business.
Historical fiction is a feature in a movie that takes people who are watching to a story that took place in a remarkable period of history, especially significant to the people who were in that period. It also presents the actual events and the names of the people involved in that event. The mission is a good example of a historical fiction whereby it presents the events that took place in South America during the 18th century. There were two powerful colonial forces that were competing for minds and hearts of the native Indians. On one side, there were imperialist plunderers, who wished to establish a trade in slaves so as to gain riches. On the other hand, there were missionaries, who aimed to convert the same native Indians to Christians.
Historical fiction helps in illuminating time periods to those people who were not there when the event took place. These people include students, especially those that learn the history and helps in understanding the events that occurred in a certain period, in history. Watching a movie that contains historical fiction makes the student remember the events more than when they are reading from the books. This is because a film creates a real picture of a memorable event that happened in the past. Historical fiction also enriches a film. This is because it adds some historical ideas in the movies since it based on an event that happened a long time ago.
The relationship that was there between the Guarani Indians and the priest was close and friendly. This was attained by father Gabriel together with his group of Jesuits when they slowly succeeded in making friends with these inhabitants, which helped them learn their culture, as well as their language. Afterwards, these Indians gained their trust, father Gabriel was able to preach and teach them his faith. With this friendship, they were able to work together to fight Portuguese who wanted to take their land in order to enslave them. With the help of Mendoza who was also converted to Christian, they were able to unite and fight their enemies who wanted to take their land.
Indigenous life is portrayed in this film especially during the fight between the natives and the Portuguese. During the war, the fighters used indigenous weapons such as swords. They were not using the modern weapons such as guns to fight their enemies. For instance, this is portrayed when a young Guarani boy, an Indian boy who had befriended Mendoza. They courageously decided to fight the Portuguese so as to get their land back. The film shows how this boy goes to the river to look for the abandoned weapons that belonged to Mendoza. He retrieves a sword and begs Mendoza silently to help him with the weapon so that he could fight on behalf of his people. Mendoza later accepts to give the boy the sword in order to fight for his people. Indigenous life is also portrayed when father Gabriel spreads the word of God to the Indians. He taught his faith to the Indians by use of mouth whereby he used informal learning. There was no writing since schools were not introduced. There is also form of sacrifices practiced when Guarani Indians kill a pig and Mendoza refuses to attend.
The film portrays a peaceful conquest when the Portuguese acquired the land they were interested to start their slave trade. The movie shows how they buy the land from the Spain. Before settling in the land, they seek permission from Altamirano, the pope of Rome, who had to decide whether the natives would remain under the church’s protection. This was to confirm whether they can still make the natives their slave if they were still under their protection. They decided to settle the when the pope of Rome had allowed them to acquire the land and take protection of the natives. Under pressure, the church surrenders the land to the Portuguese, a decision that would allow slavery again, but Mendoza decides to organize these natives to oppose the Portuguese request of taking the land. This is brought physical war between the natives and the Portuguese in the fight of the land. In the war, many natives died together with father Gabriel as martyrs fighting for their land.
The statement “contempt for property is blasphemy” is portrayed by the Portuguese who greedily desire to acquire more land, not because they do not have enough land, but because they want to gain more profits from the land. With their slave trade business, the land would help them gain more slaves to trade. They dislike other communities, such as the Indian native, thereby selling them as slaves so as to gain profits. They do this by using the strategy of extending authority of a nation by acquiring more territories or through establishing political and economic domination more than other nations. This is seen when they acquire more territories and lands that belonged to the Indian natives since they were interested to grow economically through the slave trade. Spain also contempt for property whereby they sell the land that belong to the natives to the Portuguese. This is profanity since they do not consider the how the natives would be enslaved by the Portuguese.
Therefore, it is important to consider the welfare of other communities even though they are weak. Leaders should also be courageous guide their subjects to fight for their properties. They should be able to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their people. This shows their patriotism similar to father Gabriel and Mendoza who fought to protect the natives who were weak and could not fight for their land. Although father Gabriel dies as a martyr together with other natives, the left natives were able to surrender in order to re-establish the community.
In conclusion, some of the story lines in this movie were change to endear the film to its viewers. However, most of the historical fact was unaltered unlike in the earlier versions of the movie. The film director Roland Joff did a great job. Although he maintained most of the historical facts, he was at the same time able to producing an endearing film. That captured the hearts and minds of the audience and in the process teaching the audience some of history that helped build the United States of American.