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The Mission (1986)

When ancient societies meet the modern world they face a desperate struggle to survive.

Directed by:

Roland Joffé

Rating: 8/10

Running Time: 120 minutes

UK Certificate: PG


Country: United Kingdom

Jeremy Irons appears as Father Gabriel, a Jesuit priest who enters the South American rainforest with the intention of building a Christian mission. His challenging task is the conversion of a small tribe of native Amazonian Indians. Although it is slow going, Father Gabriel and his small group of Jesuits gradually succeed in befriending the natives, learning about the Indians' culture and language along the way. Gaining their trust, Father Gabriel is able to teach his new friends about his faith.

In the meantime, Spanish army officer turned slave trader Rodrico Mendoza (Robert De Niro) is part of the thriving South American slave business. Mendoza is caught up in a tragic love triangle – he is in love with a woman who only has eyes for his younger brother. When she confesses her passion to Mendoza, he flies into a jealous rage, eventually murdering his own brother. Stricken by grief and remorse, Mendoza is saved by Father Gabriel's guidance, and joins him in his mission. Here Mendoza finds peace and seeks to become a priest. However, this idyllic life is not going to last. When Spain sells the land to Portugal, Mendoza and Father Gabriel must find a way to protect both the mission and the Indians from the aggressive Portuguese, but they have very different ideas on how to go about it.

This fine film is often unfairly overlooked, as its good features significantly outweigh the bad. The story is based on real events, and the film rarely strays from telling the unembellished truth. The movie looks wonderful, with fabulous scenery shown off through outstanding cinematography. Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons both turn in intense and convincing performances, supported by a cast that includes genuine Guarani Indians – descendants of those who experienced these events for real. Thoughtful, touching and with great emotional depth, the film makes its case without descending into sentimentality or clichés. That being said, the plot is sometimes not easy to follow and tends to meander during the middle of the story.

It's Got: A thoughtful message portrayed with sincerity.

It Needs: Less confusion to the narrative thread.

DVD Extras This Special Edition has a second disc in order to be able to include the interesting Omnibus documentary. Extras: Directors commentary, Omnibus documentary, Cast & crew, Awards, Theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 6/10


Black Robe, Dances with Wolves, Legends of the Fall.


This is an outstanding film with many fine qualities, but it requires a bit of concentration to get the best out of it.


    Posted December 27, 2009 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir or Madam

    Over many years, there are few films that for me are a quintessential, and true expression of cinematograph art. One of these the films is , ‘The Mission’. With respect to this definitive film “The Mission” in which Mr Jeremy Irons, Mr Roland Jeffe (director – deceased), Mr De Niro, Mr Liam Nielson, Mr E Marricone, et al played their roles, I would like to express my appreciation.

    Albeit is it from 1986, viewing it again today (from my paltry collection, of four that I purchased in DVD form – as I am very selective), it elicited a very deep appreciation of explicit and fine acting; brilliant direction; and sumptuous sound, possibly never duplicated.

    So for this little moment, please know that your work is appreciated. Maybe this comes years later, however, it still comes.

    Just an appreciation and kudos,

    Katharyne Goshulak, MBA 2009 (Imperial College, UK)

    Toronto, Canada

    December 26, 2009

  2. Ankur Mukherjee
    Posted January 26, 2010 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    The film really moved me. I honestly didn’t have any expectations from this film but wow was I ever so surprised. Jeremy Irons and Robert DiNero does an excellent work, they have a chemistry such deep and strong that its worth looking out for. Jeremy Irons is excellent in the role of the priest focussed on his attempt to introduce Indian natives to Christianity and DeNiro as the slavetrader is impeccable. The scenery, cinematography is breathtaking. A journey worth witnessing.

  3. Marie-Helene
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Who sings in the movie The Mission.


  4. Posted February 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    the film really made me become a good person,b

  5. Posted March 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this movie but i didn’t like how they killed all the Guarany indians.

  6. Dragana
    Posted March 10, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    I`m so happy when I see how many people love this film. When I had 15 years this film was released in my country,and I waited for 9 weeks,each saturday,to be among the first people to by tickets for the afternoon show. This is a film of my life,I love it so much. It`s a true celluloid,film poetry.

  7. myka
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:49 am | Permalink

    I LOVE IT!

  8. myka
    Posted August 13, 2010 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    I appreciate it!

  9. joyce
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 3:16 am | Permalink

    it was a breath taking movie film i’ve ever seen!! i love it!!

  10. jonny
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    This movie was great it was amazing on eof my favorite movies ever seen.

  11. Anonymus
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    it sucks I just want to know what rodrigo caused by his Anger?

  12. Elliana
    Posted November 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    What was the song played by the Jesuit priest the first time he meets the indians?

  13. An Onymous
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Great film with great acting and great score. Pretty unbeatable combination. Some of the dialogue was overbearing but the story was moving, the cause of the Jesuits was honourable although the end result was sad. Power and oppression over the weak is a sorry and repetitiious part of history…even today.

  14. Posted February 15, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    this movie sucked

  15. venkatapathi
    Posted November 19, 2011 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    it is an excellent movie
    there was a fight in the heart of Jesuit between obedience to the church and the existing reality in the belt.

  16. Skyrus
    Posted January 30, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    ..just watch the touch..

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