The Mission

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><i>The Mission</i> fulfilled its purpose as a good story, but nothing more. I liked this story in film form, however, films have to be composed in a certain formula that will maximize profit especially if it is a historical film. Subsequently, I agree with the Saeger’s writings of <i>The Mission</i> that the historicity is subsided for a good story. </div><div class="MsoNormal">His writings explore the film’s ethnocentric point of view. The people responsible for the point of view are the director and screenwriter. The screenwriter, Robert Bolt, is a very accomplished writer. He has to his accreditation, <i>Lawrence of Arabia</i> to his name, but in an analysis of his films, he is criticized for the personal aspects of his protagonists than the broader political context, which is very true for <i>The Mission</i>. Saeger mentions how the Treaty of Madrid is “simplified.” Seeing how that is the cause of conflict for the film, it should have been covered more. But that is a limitation of it being in film form. As European Jesuits, they were given memorably important roles and “dimensional” according to Saeger. I understand the film was about these Jesuits but the entire film served to place them on a pedestal. There was definitely a European superiority complex. The film was set up to have the Guarani as second rate or almost unimportant. </div><div class="MsoNormal">Saeger asks important question such as “Do they need to be westernized?” The film presents to the viewer that Western help is essential because according to it, the Guarani cannot even lead revolt without the help of Jesuits. The historicity is the film could not represent the Guarani more poorly. The film shows the Guarani fulfilling the typical characteristics of indigenous people. They are weak, extremely primitive, cultureless, and simple. Overall, there was a weak presentation of actual Guarani. One thing that bothered me, which is something Saeger mentions, was how one of the girls picks up a violin after the Europeans destroy the mission. After your home is destroyed, would you really pick up a broken musical instrument? Really? Why not food? The film did not even translate their language. The audience had to figure out through their actions what they meant to interpret. This vision of indigenous groups is a typical Eurocentric point of view that has been recorded since Columbus sailed the ocean blue. By the way, Bolt was from the UK, which is in Europe.</div><div class="MsoNormal">I was relieved to read the historic account of the real Guarani. Seager states that the real Guarani were actually more resistant than they were portrayed. As opposed to film Guarani, the real Guarani resisted conversion for decades and they were actually very proud of their culture. They themselves led a revolt against Portuguese-Spanish forces. Maybe it was the Europeans who were less dimensional than the Guarani. After reading the actual account, I definitely did not like the film.</div><div class="MsoNormal">Despite all its flaws concerning historicity, in 1995, the papal committee selected this film to be in the Vatican Film List among 15 films noteworthy for religious significance. </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>