The Mission is a 1986 British film about the experiences of a Jesuit missionary in eighteenth century South America. The film was written by Robert Bolt and directed by Roland Joffe.
It stars Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally, Aidan Quinn, Cherie Lunghi and Liam Neeson. It won the Palme d’Or and the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.the Church Times Top 50 Religious Films list. The music, scored by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, was listed at #23 on AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores. In April 2007, it was elected number one on
Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portugese aggressors.
Father Gabriel ascends the mountains of Brazil to bring christianity to the natives. He is successful and brings about a golden age among them. Mendoza, a slaver, kills his brother in a fit of rage, and only Fr. Gabriel’s guidance 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, cedes the land to the Portuguese which will allow slavers in again. Mendoza breaks his vows and organizes the natives to resist while Gabriel warns him to help them as a priest.