The Mission

Considering Hollywood usually distorts very thing historical, I thought they did a pretty good job on The Mission. Overall the movie was well executed. While there were a few parts that were less than historically accurate, that’s like any movie. I have learned to take any movies I see with a grain of salt, especially ones claiming to be historically based.
While the reading commented on numerous things about the movie, I’m just going to discuss the few that really stood out to me.
So first off, in the beginning of the movie it shows the Guaranis men throwing a dead priest tied to a cross into the river. The movie focused on this action so intently but never explained it. It doesn’t say or show why they killed him. A viewer could take that one of two ways. Either the priest did something really offensive to them or they naturally disliked him, but the viewer doesn’t know which an accurate assumption is. But the reading goes on to say that they did not always dislike the missionaries. The missionaries could offer them protection, and new iron tools such as hatchets and knives.

Another part of the movie the reading dissected was when Rodrigo went to Father Gabriel and thanked him. I happened to really like this part of the movie. Yes the reading was right when it points out that his being there did not have anything to do with the Guarani people. They were never asked for their consent about him being there, they had no say either way. But Rodrigo could thank them for helping him get his life back. Going up there literally changed his life, and in my opinion if he would have stayed in the Spanish village I do not think he would have gotten that same second chance at life. So in that aspect it is something he could thank them for. He could thank them for so warmly welcoming him into their community.

There was one part of the movie that sat funny with me and I am glad the reading talked about it. I thought the part when the Guarani boy was singing in the Spanish village was odd. I thought it was especially strange when Rodrigo stood up for the Guarani people taking about infanticide so casually. The reading points out Rodrigo calls them spiritual but does not go on to explain. But he then goes into detail about infanticides. But the readings say those Guaranis rarely used infanticide, making that comment really strange and unnecessary. Also in reality a Jesuit would not speak so casually of infanticide, it goes against their beliefs.

Another part of the reading I found interesting was when it talked about the actual relationship between most Jesuits and Guaranis. The reading mentions how it was not unknown for the Jesuits to use beatings. Also the Jesuits were in charge of all the economics of the village and would lock up and ration out the food. This is defidently a different picture than what the movie painted about the relationship between the Jesuits and the village and its people.