Perhaps everyone in the free world has seen this but me, but I can’t resist a few comments. Excellent, excellent movie. Superb acting with Jeremy Irons, Robert DeNiro, and Liam Nielson. And the area is beautiful--the dangerous but gorgeous falls reflecting the love and calling of God. (Side note: not too long ago, a missions conference was held there as a tribute to the Jesuit's work.)
The movie picks up when the boundary lines are redrawn putting the Jesuit missions in Portuguese territory. The Portuguese don’t like this. Neither do the Spanish. Jesuit missions prevent slave trade, and their plantations combat with plantations that put money into western pockets. The question is: will the Church support the government or not? The pope sends a cardinal to evaluate the situation. In truth, the cardinal comes to persuade the Jesuits to close their missions.
What I love about this movie: in the midst of cruelty, in the midst of the failures of the Catholic Church to protect and serve and love, the Jesuits shine as an example of people committed to loving the Lord and loving their neighbor. It’s beautiful to see a group of priests, each fighting in different ways, standing firm in their beliefs and to see the transformation in their lives because of it.
If you haven’t seen this movie, put it on your Netflix or Blockbuster account. You need to.