the mission. what were they thinking?

 <br /><div class="MsoNormal"><i>The Mission,</i> directed by Roland Joffé, portrays eighteenth century Spanish Jesuits in their attempt to protect a remote South American Indian tribe, the Guarani, from the Portuguese slave traders who capture and sell them to the highest bidder.&nbsp; Although the film was mildly entertaining and somewhat informative, this “true story” was severely misleading as a historical reference.&nbsp;&nbsp; The book <u>Based on a True Story; Latin American history at the Movies</u> contains a chapter by James Saeger which denotes the major flaws in the film, and provides detailed explanations on where they were wrong.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">At the beginning of the film, Guarani men are seen tossing a priest, ironically lashed to a cross, into the river where his life ends at the bottom of a towering waterfall.&nbsp; This act is never justified in the movie, which leads viewers to believe that the Native Americans were simply white man killers.&nbsp; But this is not the case.&nbsp; When original Catholic missionaries entered these areas, the Guarani people accepted them because they provided protection from their Native American and European enemies.&nbsp; The missionaries also brought tools made of iron, which revolutionized the Guarani way of life.&nbsp; Farming was the livelihood of many, and axes provided from the missionaries allowed for a big improvement in the efficiency in the ability to clear land for such farms.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">The Mission was said to have been from events in the years 1758 and 1759 in Paraguay, concerning the trade of the local areas from Spain to Portugal implementing the Treaty of Madrid from 1750.&nbsp; While the treaty was factual, the film depicted the mission above the Guairá Falls as being started just a few years prior.&nbsp; In actuality, the missions founded in that area began in the early 1600s. By the 1630s, most of the occupants, Guaranis and Jesuits, were forced to flee from Brazilian slave raids throughout the area.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">The major thing that I recognized was the Jesuit’s tolerance of nudity.&nbsp; The male Guarani wore scant loins, while the women strolled around topless.&nbsp; In 1700, Father Martin Dobrizhoffer stated that breasts were “parts of the body . . . which modesty commands to be concealed.”&nbsp; During the Father’s time around these areas, he also noted that the Guarani women were “decently clad from the shoulders to the heels.”&nbsp;&nbsp; Father Gabriel from the film never once suggested to the women that they should be wearing a blouse, nor did the Jesuit convert Rodrigo Mendoza.&nbsp; By leaving out this self evident belief of the Jesuits, the credibility of <i>The Mission</i>’s historical relevance is easily denatured, even to viewer’s who don’t research the religious ideas.&nbsp; These are just a few of the errors Hollywood made in producing this “true story” that are pointed out by James Saeger in the book <u>Based on a True Story</u>.</div><div class="MsoNormal"><br /></div><div class="MsoNormal">Thank you for your time,</div><div class="MsoNormal">Jeremiah Glass </div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='' alt='' /></div>