Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors. Written by
Deep in the jungles of South America two men bring civilization to a native tribe. Now, after years of struggle together, they find themselves on opposite sides in a dramatic fight for the natives' independence. One will trust in the power of prayer. One will believe in the might of the sword.
The picture was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1987, including Best Picture, but won just one: Best Cinematography, awarded to Director of Photography Chris Menges. Menges had won in the same category two years earlier for The Killing Fields (1984), which had also been directed by Roland Joffé. See more »
Indian characters don't speak Guarani - the language of the Paraguayan Indians - but Wawnana - the language of the Colombian Indians who performed in the movie. See more »
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 ...
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At the film's very end, after the final credits, Altimarano gives the audience an ambiguous, almost accusing look, as if he were asking it, "Would you or would you not have done this?" See more »
Lush Visuals, Score & Fascinating Story All Rolled Into One
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 - and please see it on widescreen DVD. "The Mission" won the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1986 and that award was well-deserved. There is just one stunning scene after another.
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.
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