The Mission / End of the Spear

Okay, we’re digging deep here with The Mission … a 1986 film? Were there no available flicks from the modern era? This is a “Special Edition” of the remarkable film. It’s long (125 minutes without the Bonus Material DVD), but the cinematography is superb, and with its historically-based plot and another Ennio Morricone score, I enjoyed the movie!

The film has its weaknesses. Initially, two stories are presented in point/counterpoint. There’s Father Gabriel, the saintly priest played by Jeremy Irons. There’s Rodrigo Mendoza, the mercenary and “sinner” played by Robert DeNiro.

For my part, I wanted to care deeply for these men, but except for the scenes where each man is tested physically (and you briefly sense their passion), the story advances too quickly. (It must! The clash of civilizations awaits!)

As a slice of mid-18th century history, the film provides a backdrop of politics and religion run amok (not so different than today, I mused). Father Gabriel and acolyte Mendoza focus on their mission, to establish caring relationships with an indigenous people group (the Guarani), to teach the people to work and live harmoniously and to worship God. Continue reading “The Mission / End of the Spear”