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Analysis of Roland Joffe's The Mission - Book Report/Review Example

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Analysis of Roland Joffe's The Mission

I myself feel split over this issue because there are compelling cases for both points of view. This movie showed me a different side of human nature, and one that I would not expect from the church. However, there were many political battles going on at that time so it is understandable why the decision was made to eliminate the local indigenous people. The Mission contains three differing points of view when it comes to clearing the people: Rodrigo Mendoza, Father Gabriel, and Father Altamirano. Rodrigo Mendoza was formerly a slave trader who had little time for the local people. When he found his younger brother sleeping with his fiance, Mendoza brutally murdered him in a fit of rage. He had a violent background; however, this changed when he became a Jesuit priest at the mission. When the decision came up of what to do to stop the Portuguese soldiers, Mendoza slipped back to his old ways and resorted to the sword. He reasoned with Father Gabriel that God would have no problem with using force to defend the mission. God was the one who sent them there in the first place, so it wouldn’t make sense just to let the soldiers clear everyone out. This is more a liberal point of view. Mendoza’s beliefs could be compared to many religious people today who believe that going to war to defend God’s name is okay. I do not see a problem with this so long as it is not done for personal ambition. On the other hand, Father Gabriel is a conservative Jesuit priest who is a pacifist. When the Portuguese soldiers come to clear the tribe, he has a fierce debate with Mendoza, who does not agree with him at all. Father Gabriel’s reasoning is that Jesus came to love everyone in the world, so it would not make sense to kill any of them, no matter who they are. When it comes down to it, Father Gabriel simply says that he could not kill another man in cold blood. Today, there are many Christians who would agree with Father Gabriel’s position. There is a compelling case for his argument because the bible is very clear about killing another man. However, there are also times in the bible where God’s people go into battle to defend His honor. Christians with conservative beliefs would go along with his opinion. I do not personally agree with it, but I can see the reasons why someone would think this way. Although Mendoza and Father Gabriel are against the closure of the mission, Father Altiromano is sent from the Vatican to close down many of the missions. Because of this, he comes in with a biased view about what he is going to do. Father Altiromano is an interesting case because although he has been sent to close the mission, he feels compassion for the local people when he visits their mission. When he meets some of the local people, they ask why God has decided to change his mind. God has blessed the native people and it would seem illogical to them that God would want to stop this. Throughout the film, Father Altiromano has some doubts over the benefit of closing the mission. When he visits the mission, he sees the amazing work that the Jesuits have been doing. The problem for Father Altiromano is that if he does not go through with the closure, the Jesuits could split over the issue. To avoid this, Father Altiromano has no choice but to close the mission. He reasons that it is better for one mission to suffer rather than the whole order losing control of its missions. Father Altiromano’s viewpoint is best represented by many church leaders today. Often times, these people are ...Show more
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Analysis of Roland Joffe’s “The Mission” Roland Joffe’s 1986 film The Mission is perhaps one of the most touching films of the 20th century. I felt touched and moved when viewing this impacting movie. The Jesuit mission is succeeding where no one else has before…
Analysis of Roland Joffes The Mission
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