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, ...
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In the boring desert of New Mexico, a single mother raises her two teenage daughters, Shade and Trudi, whose deepest desire is to leave the dead calm town. Shade is the type to escape in ... See full summary »
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
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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In "At Play in the Fields of the Lord", the remarkable Hector Babenco (Pixote, Kiss of the Spider Woman) paints a portrait of disillusion and despair on a canvas of sun-dappled green.
This is no mere tract on the consequences of cultural imperialism, but an examination of the myriad ways in which human folly, ignorance and arrogance (with an assist from the heedless juggernaut of Nature) conspire to overcome idealism, innocence, and the fragile constructs of civilization. This is not a "feel-good" flick, but it is a powerful and affecting one.
The actors involved--including Tom Berenger, Aidann Quinn, John Lithgow and Daryl Hannah (!)--all give intelligent and well-modulated performances. And, once again, the astonishing Kathy Bates blows everyone else away with her wrenching turn as Quinn's reluctant (and ultimately devastated) wife.
The film is long, dark and stubbornly pessimistic-- but also visually lush and emotionally cathartic; ultimately, the viewer will find it unforgettable.
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