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Quotes for
Altamirano (Character)
from The Mission (1986)

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The Mission (1986)
Hontar: We must work in the world, your eminence. The world is thus.
Altamirano: No, Señor Hontar. Thus have we made the world... thus have I made it.

[Last Lines]
Altamirano: [spoiler] So, your Holiness, now your priests are dead, and I am left alive. But in truth it is I who am dead, and they who live. For as always, your Holiness, the spirit of the dead will survive in the memory of the living.

Altamirano: Tell them they must leave the missions. They must submit to the will of God.
Gabriel: They say it was the will of God that they came out of the jungle and built the mission. They don't understand why God has changed his mind.

Altamirano: [to Cabeza and Hontar] And you have the effrontery to tell me that this slaughter was necessary?

Altamirano: Your Holiness, a surgeon to save the body must often hack off a limb. But in truth nothing could prepare me for the beauty and the power of the limb that I had come here to sever.

Altamirano: With an orchestra, the Jesuits could have subdued the entire continent.

Altamirano: The Garden of Eden!
Gabriel: It's a trifle overgrown.

[first lines]
Altamirano: Your Holiness, the little matter that brought me here to the furthest edge of your light on Earth is now settled. The Indians are once more free to be enslaved by the Spanish and Portuguese settlers. I don't think that's hitting the right note. Begin again... Your Holiness, I write to you in this year of Our Lord 1758 from the southern continent of the Americas, from the town of Asunción, in the Province of La Plata, two weeks march from the great mission of San Miguel. These missions have provided a refuge for the Indians against the worst depredations of the settlers and have earned much resentment because of it. The noble souls of these indians incline towards music. Indeed, many a violin played in the academies of Rome itself has been made by their nimble and gifted hands. It was from these mission the Jesuit fathers carried the word of God to the high and undiscovered plateau to those Indians still existing in their natural state and received in return, martyrdom.

Altamirano: Why must they fight? Why can't they return to the jungle?
Gabriel: Because this is their home. Did you know this was going to be your decision?
Altamirano: Yes.
Gabriel: Then why did you come, Your Eminence?
Altamirano: To persuade you not to resist the transfer of the mission territories. If the Jesuits resist the Portuguese then the Jesuit order will be expelled from Portugal. And if Portugal, then Spain, France, Italy... who knows? If your order is to survive at all, Father, the missions must here be sacrified.
Altamirano: [a native child talks to Gabriel] What are they saying?
Gabriel: They say they didn't want to go back to the forest because the devil lives there. They want to stay here.
Altamirano: And what did you say?
Gabriel: I said I'd stay with them.

Altamirano: With an orchestra, the Jesuits could have subdued the whole continent. So it was that the Indians of the Guarani were brought finally to account to the everlasting mercy of God, and to the short-lived mercy of man.

Altamirano: [about native boy] Don Cabeza, how can you possibly refer to this child as an animal?
Cabeza: A parrot can taught to sing, Your Eminence.
Altamirano: Ah yes, but how does one teach it to sing as melodiously as this?
Cabeza: Your Eminence. This is a child of the jungle, an animal with a human voice. It if were human, an animal would cringe at its vices. These creatures are lethal and lecherous. They will have to be subdued by the sword and brought to profitable labor by the whip.

Altamirano: I assure you, Father Gabriel, that the courts of Europe are a jungle in comparison with which your jungle here is a well-kept garden.

Altamirano: What was your income last year?
Jesuit: Last year, 120,000 escudos.
Altamirano: And how was it distributed?
Jesuit: It is shared among them equally. This is a community.
Altamirano: Ah yes, there is a French radical group that teaches that doctrine.
Jesuit: Your Eminence, it was the doctrine of the early Christians.

Sebastian: Your Christian community is commercially competitive.
Altamirano: Yes. It's very prosperous. Isn't that precisely why you want to take it over?
Sebastian: No. You should've achieved a noble failure if you wanted the state's approval. There's nothing we like better than a noble failure. It's deeply reassuring to a trading nation such as my own.