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Martin and Hazel Quarrier are small-town fundamentalist missionaries sent to the jungles of South America to convert the Indians. Their remote mission was previously run by the Catholics, before the natives murdered them all. They are sent by the pompous Leslie Huben, who runs the missionary effort in the area but who seems more concerned about competing with his Catholic 'rivals' than in the Indians themselves. Hazel is terrified of the Indians while Martin is fascinated. Soon American pilot Lewis Moon joins the Indian tribe but is attracted by Leslie's young wife, Andy. Can the interaction of these characters and cultures, and the advancing bulldozers of civilization, avoid disaster? Written by
To study for his role as a Christian missionary, Aidan Quinn went undercover with the Wycliffe Bible Translator group in Belem, Brazil, passing himself off as a born again Christian from the American Midwest. See more »
The next time you strike an Indian for any reason whatsoever, it is you who is going to be sent away. They are different from us, they don't understand! And besides that, it could be very dangerous for us all.
Do you want Billy seeing their filthy tricks?
It will not seem filthy to him unless we make it so. Honey, it is very natural.
Natural? And if one of those nasty little savages puts a hand on him?
Then he might enjoy it.
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A complex story with issues concerning religion, understanding different cultures and also identity
The length of this movie is possibly a detriment, however it is worth the time in most respects. One of the main issues explored is age-old in terms of how religion is brought to people that the civilized world sometimes arrogantly considers are "savages." Another issue is the finding of one's own identity. The main characters in the story, mostly missionaries from the United States, seem to each represent various perspectives and viewpoints that people can bring to living in another place and culture, in this story it is the Amazon and the Indians that live there. The acting was good -- not great great -- but good enough that you believed the character's various dilemnas. Adian Quinn did quite well in his role as he struggled with trying to understand the minds of the Indians and their concept of a god and blending this with his own Christian perspective. Tom Berenger's role was more complex and his acting was subdued. The other actors such as Darryl Hannah and John Lithgow had somewhat difficult parts that were handled competently. Kathy Bates, as always, added flavor as did Tom Waits.
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