The Mission, my analysis

My initial reaction to the movie, The Mission was one of utter depression. I left class feeling significantly sadder than when i had entered the classroom at 2:30. However, after reading these various articles about other indigenous uprising and the historical critique of the movie itself, I find myself even more depressed and oddly angered by what I have read. My anger is not what one would typically think though, I find myself completely undisturbed with the historical inaccuracy of the movie. Truthfully, it’s quite the opposite. I do not know about anyone else but I would not wanna watch a movie that showed the oppression of the indigenous peoples of this area to historical accuracy. When i watch a movie, especially one that is supposed to be based on something that has happened in the past, I do not want to be reminded about how terrible everyone was to people of different races and ethnicities. As a history major, I read about that everyday. I want my movie to have some sort of uplifting quality. I enjoyed reading in “Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness” that local people did not always just take things as they came, they did not always just roll over and take what was happening to them for what it was. I enjoyed in the movie that the Jesuits took the side of the people, little theatrical changes like this make it seem like people in the past had some sort of humanity. Portraying them in a way that would be “historically accurate” seems like it would take all of the humanity out of these people and make them the vilians. Sadly enough, they were villians but even worse they typically felt justified in their actions against people who they saw as being below them. How is a director supposed to fit all of this into a two hour movie and not leave people just feeling utter depressed at the end? We can not fix the unjustices of the past but we can however make movies that spark peoples interest in the past that get them into researching what really happened. You may never know, but some non-history major could’ve seen this movie and then went and really looked into the truth of the matter and became enlightened on the past even though the intial spark of this search was one based on inaccuracies.

I certainly can not say that this was one of the best movies that I have ever seen, certain parts made no sense, ex. the priest tied to the cross, or a slave trader seeking forgiveness not from God but from the people with whom he used to enslave. The movie as a whole was not bad and despite the lack of historical backing, I found it insightful and it did spark an interest in me to really read these articles and really find out what the truth was because this is not a subject that one hears about often if at all.

Therefore, my opinion on this controversy of historical accuracy does not really register as a huge issue to me and as a history major that seems quite peculiar I know. Obviously, I do enjoy a movie that can incorporate true facts and theatrical dramatization of events to really give one a visual idea of how things happened but sometimes it’s okay to just have a movie that sparks interests or a hint of knowledge on a subject that one probably would not have thought about before ever seeing the movie.