Directed by Roland Joffé • 1986 • United Kingdom, France
Starring Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally
This visually resplendent Academy Award winner for best cinematography is a powerful epic about a man of the sword and a man of the cloth who unite to shield a South American Guaraní community from brutal colonial subjugation. In the 1750s, just inside the Spanish side of the meridian dividing the Spanish and Portuguese colonial domains lies a Christian mission run by the deeply spiritual Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) and former slave trader, soldier, and murderer Rodrigo (Robert De Niro), who seeks his own personal redemption. When a deal struck between Spain, Portugal, and the Vatican results in the mission falling into slave-trading Portuguese control, Gabriel and Rodrigo must choose between their holy vow of obedience to the church and the lives of their innocent parishioners.