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The Mission

The Mission” is a motion picture, directed by Roland Joffe in 1986, about a Jesuit mission that is threatened by greed and imperialism in the late 18th century in the Brazilian jungle. Father Gabriel, played by Jeremy Irons, climbs the mountains of Brazil to bring Christianity to the natives. He is successful and brings about a golden age among them. Mendoza, played by Robert De Niro, a slave trader, kills his brother, Felipe played by Aidan Quinn, in a fit of rage over a woman named Carlotta, played by Cherie Lunghi. Only Fr. Gabriel's leadership prevents his suicide. Gabriel brings Mendoza to work at his mission with the natives, and Mendoza finds peace and asks to become a priest. The Church, under pressure, gives the land up to the Portuguese who will allow slave traders in again. Mendoza breaks his vows and organizes the natives to fight against the Portuguese while Gabriel warns him not to fight and instead to help them as a priest. At the end of the movie Fr. Gabriel courageously leads a procession with the Host through the battle. He is martyred along with almost everyone else. Only a few young natives are left, whom because they have been touched by God, to rebuild the community. This movie, more than most I have ever seen, demonstrates graphically, from a normal, human point of view, the net result of the union of passion and greed, where one compliments the other. The two main reasons the mission is threatened, as I have said before, are imperialism and greed. Greed is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth. In this movie, that translates into, how the Portuguese only wanted to gain these lands for profit. Since natives lived there the Portuguese wanted to gain the land so they could trade slaves there. This was the whole reason Mendoza disregarded his vows and fought against the Portuguese. The other reason, imperialism, is ...

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