Lent 2011 | Movies, Songs, YouTube

Here are some creative ideas to use in this series.  Some things are Lent related, others are about breathing.  Could be used as set up.

The Mission (MOVIE PLOT)

  • The film is set in the 1750s and involves the Jesuit Reductions, a programme by which the Catholic Church sought to Christianise and “civilize” the indigenous native populations of South America. Spanish Jesuit priest Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) enters the South American jungle to build a mission and convert a Guaraní community to Christianity
  • The Guaraní community above the perilous Iguazu Falls ties a priest to a cross and sends him down the falls to his death. Afterward, the gentle Father Gabriel scales the falls and reaches out to the Guaraní. Entering the jungle, Father Gabriel sits and plays his oboe. The Guaraní warriors prepare to kill him, but they are captivated by the music and allow him to live.
  • A mercenary and slaver, Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), makes his living kidnapping natives and selling them to nearby plantations. He cares both for his younger brother Felipe (Aidan Quinn) and his fiancee Carlotta (Cherie Lunghi). Carlotta reveals she has fallen in love with Felipe. Mendoza subsequently finds them in bed together. In his anger he kills Felipe in a duel. Acquitted of the killing, Mendoza spirals into depression. Father Gabriel, who has temporarily returned from his mission and learned of Mendoza’s situation, visits and challenges Mendoza to undertake a suitable penance.
  • Mendoza accompanies the Jesuits on their return journey, doggedly pulling a bundle filled with weapons as the party scales the Iguazu Falls. After Mendoza collapses, one of the Jesuit priests, Fielding (Liam Neeson) cuts away the bundle. Mendoza recovers and re-ties the bundle, resuming the grueling journey. Fielding discusses with Father Gabriel that he and the others believe Mendoza has suffered enough, but Father Gabriel replies that only God and Mendoza may decide that. When they reach the Guaraní camp, a member of the tribe cuts the ropes of Mendoza’s burden. Symbolically absolved of his brother’s murder and his past transgressions against the Guaraní, Mendoza weeps and then begins to laugh.
  • Father Gabriel’s mission is depicted as a place of sanctuary and education for the Guaraní. Moved by the Guaraní’s acceptance, Mendoza wishes to help at the mission and Father Gabriel gives him a Bible. In a voice-over, Mendoza reads 1 Corinthians 13 as he interacts with the Guaraní, particularly the children. Mendoza takes vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and becomes a Jesuit under Father Gabriel.