Saturday, July 20, 2019

Essay --

Roland Joffà ©Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s The Mission excellently demonstrates the powerful, far reaching, and frankly, life changing effects cultural interaction between differing cultures can have. Set in the mid 18th century in the Amazon rainforest, the film primarily focuses on Father Gabriel, a Jesuit missionary played by Jeremy Irons, as he establishes a Christian mission for the purpose of converting the native Guarani people, and later as he organizes a resistance effort opposing the closing of the mission. In critical instances throughout the movie, the positive effect of cultural interaction is evidently clear, as the Guarani way of life is greatly improved through the knowledge and technology Father Gabriel, Mendoza and the rest of the mission introduce to the Guarani, while in other scenes the obvious downsides of cultural interaction are violently and brutally exposed as Portuguese settlers destroy the mission and enslave the Guarani. Father Gabriel’s first meeting with the Guarani concludes with his music conquering the Guarani with its purity and perfection. At first, the Guarani are hesitant as they encircle him, but Father Gabriel does not run for safety or plea for his life, rather he simply continues to play his oboe as the stunned natives listen. No words are spoken, and no violence occurs, instead the native Guarani are intrigued by Father Gabriel, allowing him to live and he gradually wins their trust. Over time, Father Gabriel’s mission serves as a place of safe haven and learning for the Guarani. Father Gabriel and his priests, among them Mendoza and others, teach the Guarani how to carve and play flutes, violins, and other instruments, as well how to sing with vigour and passion. In various scenes, the mission choir can be heard ... ...Portuguese governments, the Guarani and Jesuit’s relationship is strained. During the land exchange, the Spanish minister concludes that the mission is to be closed down – by force if necessary. All the Jesuit missionaries and many Guarani warriors are wounded and/or killed in the impending battle. The sequence in which the Portuguese settlers torch the mission – in the name of bloodlust – expresses cultural interaction – between cultures who do not see eye to eye – has its negatives, as well as positives. Though the true heroes of the film are killed, Father Gabriel’s convictions live on in the Guarani whose lives he touched. The final lines of the movie, delivered by the emissary the Vatican reflect this point well: â€Å"But in truth it is I who am dead, and they who live. For as always, your holiness, the spirit of the dead will survive in the memory of the living.†

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