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The Mission - from Religious and Theological Perspective - Essay Example

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The Mission - from Religious and Theological Perspective

Directed by Roland Joffe and written by Robert Bolt, the film won the Academy Award for Best cinematography. From the plot summary, it is obvious that film mainly focuses on the religion of Christianity. Throughout the film, various facets of Christianity are explored and that includes the role played by that religion during the colonization of territories by the European or Western colonial powers in early centuries, particularly the role played by the Christian missionaries in the ‘evolution’ of the native population. The film also focuses on the core Christian beliefs and teachings, and delves into how different sections of population interpret those beliefs and teachings. “If you are looking for a fascinating portrayal of historical Christian faith and missions during the centuries past, “The Mission” is it (though not a “Christian” production itself).” (Paul, n. d) In the film, the religion of Christianity plays a vital component. That is, The Mission features the series of struggles faced by Father Gabriel in his journey to preach Christianity to the indigenous people, gain their trust and evangelize them. During that journey, the concept of Christianity is clearly highlighted. “The film is set in the 1750s and involves the Jesuit Reductions, a program by which the European Catholic Church sought to Christianize and “civilize the indigenous native populations of South America.”(“The Mission – Summary”, n. d). The representation of Christianity in the film seems to be accurate, as it reflects the activities of the Christian missionaries and other groups to spread Christianity in many lands in the early centuries. That is, the movie mainly focuses on the group of Jesuit priests traveling to distant lands in an attempt to spread and reach the Word of God to the native population. In addition, in those early times, the Jesuit priests/missionaries use to live with the native population for many years, instead of having a temporary stay. In a way, they coexist with the local people, thereby understanding their culture, lifestyle, problems, etc. In the movie also, Father Gabriel along with Mendoza permanently live and carry out constructive work in the Guarani settlement. “This fact is consistent with historical missions created by Europeans in South America, where Jesuit priests would coexist with tribes such as the Guarani.” (Fritz, 2010). Hence, the representation of Christianity in the film can be considered accurate, and also as an effective means of revealing the holistic features of Christianity. In the film, the Jesuit priests’ attempts to evangelize the native South American population provide key perspectives about the expansion activities of Jesuit priests as well as the core values of Christianity. The key message delivered in the film is how the ‘education’ of the native people about the basic principles of Christianity can bring about certain constructive changes in their society. Thus, the film in a way conveys a positive message; as it makes the native people to understand and imbibe the vital components of Christianity namely love towards fellow men, compassion, peace, sacrifice, etc. Though the Guarani initially resist and oppose the preaching of the Father Gabriel, in the latter part of the film, they even go to the extent of dying for his cause. “This movie depicts the role of religion in the European ...Show more


The Mission – from Religious and Theological Perspective The Mission, a British film released in 1986, revolves around the spiritual and tragic experiences of a Jesuit missionary in 18th century South America. In the film, Jesuit priest Father Gabriel travels to South America to set up a Mission there and to ‘Christianize’ the indigenous South American population…
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The Mission - from Religious and Theological Perspective essay example
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