The Movie “The Mission” is a film that displays how core values and religions can be present in two completely different cultures. The two different set ups are shown right off the bat in the start of the movie, where we can compare the Guarani Native Indians’ and the Europeans’ homes. There are several unmistakable differences between the two. For example, the Native Indians wear hardly any clothes. Their attire consists of a pieces of fabric in order to cover privates and painting across their bodies. On the other hand, white Europeans are well dressed from head to toe. Most importantly, the Europeans live in houses, buildings and in some instances, castles. Meanwhile, the Guarani’s home consists solely of the jungle.
Despite the Guarani and Europeans differences, throughout the movie we can observe several themes that are present in both of their actions. The first theme that I noticed while watching this movie was forgiveness and redemption. After Rodrigo, a past slaver and mercenary, killed his half-brother and was offered a chance to redeem himself. He was able to do so by carrying a huge bundle of his armory and weapons up the mountains to the mission where the Guarani where located. Additionally, he would start a new lifestyle by following the ways of God under the teachings of father Gabriel. This portrays forgiveness and hope from not only Father Gabriel but the Christian religion who were willing to give Rodrigo a second chance. When Rodrigo arrived to the Guarani’s place with Father Gabriel and his fellow helpers, the Native Indians recognized him instantly, for he had murdered and kidnapped several members of their tribe. However, when Rodrigo collapsed to his knees crying in front of the tribe, the Guarani cut off the armory that was weighing him down, symbolizing that they let go of his sins and forgave him. This portrays that despite their notable differences, both sides were able to show compassion and redemption towards Rodrigo.
Throughout the film, themes such as injustice and hypocrisy were evident. These themes are related to the basic human rights of the Native Indians in “The Mission”. The Jesuit mission was a success in teaching the ways of God and Christianity, which taught peace, love and compassion. The Native Indians converted to Christianity and followed the word of God. Unfortunately, after the Treaty of Madrid, the Native Indians were no longer protected under the Spanish law. Due to this, the Guarani were forced to leave the mission to avoid being enslaved by the Portuguese. When they refused to do so, they were fatally slaughtered by the Portuguese Soldiers who the European Church supported. The same church that preached love, compassion and peace which were all taught to the Guarani by Father Gabriel.
Before the decision was made, the church Cardinal was sent to the mission to assess whether the Native Indians would remain in the territory or were to be enslaved by the Portuguese. After the discussions and debates in court, the Guarani were described as “filthy animals”. Upon the Cardinals arrival, he seemed very pleased with all the success achieved by the Native Indians. The sense of love and community they portrayed was evident to the Cardinal. However, in favor of protecting the relationship between the Portuguese and the Catholic Church, he proceeds with his orders to kick them out of the mission, which they considered their home. Here the hypocrisy is portrayed by the Cardinal’s decision putting the Jesuit’s Order above the basic human rights of the Native Indians which in turn meant backing up their slaughtering. The injustice is present throughout the whole movie where the Guarani are subject to be enslaved and are denied basic human rights despite being innocent.
In conclusion, there are many lessons that I took away after watching the movie “The Mission”. First, the movie demonstrates that despite the differences between cultures; compassion, love and forgiveness can be taught to anyone. These values are not only present in these two cultures but also in most of the major religions in the world including Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, etc. However, the most impactful takeaway I got from watching this film is a rather sad one. The discrimination and injustice shown in this movie is very eye-opening. It made me realize the evil that was and probably will always be present in the world. In the end, the way in which the Guarani were brutally murdered, showed that major world powers were capable of doing anything in order to satisfy their greedy needs over the basic rights of minorities regardless of the love and compassion that were preach in their religions.