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SUBJECTS — Religions/Christian; World/South America; Paraguay;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING — Redemption; Courage; Brothers;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS — Respect.
Age: 13+; MPAA Rating: PG; Drama; 1986; 126 minutes; Color.
In South America in the 17th and 18th centuries, various religious orders established missions to convert the indigenous peoples to Christianity, to "civilize" them, and to provide a sanctuary from slavery. The most successful of these missions were run by the Jesuits for the Guaraní Indians. In about 1752, the Church and the Spanish Crown ordered the missions disbanded. The Guaraní, led by dissident Jesuits, refused to abide by the order and rose in a short lived rebellion. This film tells a fictional story of the revolt.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to The Mission will help teachers introduce Latin America in the 17th and 18th centuries, the appalling mistreatment of the indigenous peoples by the Spanish and Portuguese settlers, the missionary efforts of the Catholic Church, and a unique experiment in the creation of a utopia. The film also explores important issues of redemption and courage. This film is an excellent supplement to courses which cover the Jesuits and the Catholic Church, European history in the 17th century, colonialism, or the history of South America, Brazil or Paraguay.
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The Mission tells the story of Jesuit missionary work with the Guaraní Indians in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Mission.
For more than 150 years, from 1610 to 1768, the Jesuits maintained missions among the Guaraní Indians of the Upper Rio de la Plata Region of what is now Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay. There were eventually 30 missions with 140,000 to 180,000 inhabitants. The governance of the missions followed Spanish statutes of the time which required that the Indians be brought out of the forest into villages (called reduciones). The obligations of the Indians and community life were set out in detail in the legislation. Of all the missionaries sent to the New World by Spain and the Catholic Church, the Jesuits were the most successful in making these regulations work. The missions grew in wealth and power and became "a Jesuit state."
The Learning Guide to the film Mission contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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