Alidia Bice

Written by Alidia Bice

Modified & Updated: 04 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Mission is a critically acclaimed film that has captured the hearts of audiences around the world since its release in 1986. Directed by Roland Joffé, this historical drama tells the compelling story of a Jesuit missionary effort in 18th century South America. Starring Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, and Liam Neeson, the film takes viewers on a captivating journey of exploration, spirituality, and betrayal. With stunning visuals, a powerful musical score by Ennio Morricone, and a thought-provoking narrative, The Mission has left a lasting impact on the film industry and has become a beloved classic. In this article, we will delve into 37 fascinating facts about The Mission, uncovering the behind-the-scenes details, the challenges faced during production, and the astounding achievements that have made it a cinematic masterpiece.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Mission is a captivating historical drama film set in South America, exploring themes of colonialism, religion, and the complexities of human relationships.
  • With stunning visuals and a powerful soundtrack, The Mission sheds light on the struggles of indigenous communities and continues to resonate with audiences as a timeless cinematic masterpiece.
Table of Contents

The Mission is a historical drama film released in 1986.

The Mission, directed by Roland Joffé, takes place in the 18th century and tells the story of a Jesuit missionary tasked with converting an indigenous tribe in South America.

The movie stars Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro.

Jeremy Irons plays the role of Father Gabriel, a Jesuit priest, while Robert De Niro portrays the character of Rodrigo Mendoza, a former slave trader turned Jesuit missionary.

The Mission won the Palme d’Or at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival.

The film was highly acclaimed and received numerous awards and nominations, including the prestigious Palme d’Or.

The Mission’s musical score was composed by Ennio Morricone.

Ennio Morricone’s beautiful and haunting soundtrack for The Mission became one of the most iconic film scores of all time.

The movie explores themes of colonialism, religion, and redemption.

The Mission raises thought-provoking questions about the impact of colonization on indigenous cultures and the role of religion in the conquest of new lands.

The Mission was filmed on location in Argentina and Brazil.

The breathtaking landscapes of South America serve as the backdrop for the visually stunning scenes in the film.

The movie was inspired by real-life events.

The Mission draws inspiration from the historical conflict between Jesuit missionaries and the Spanish and Portuguese colonizers in South America during the 18th century.

The Mission was nominated for seven Academy Awards.

The film received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Score, among others.

The movie explores the complexities of the relationship between the indigenous people and the Jesuit missionaries.

The Mission depicts the cultural clashes and power struggles that arise as the indigenous people resist the encroachment of Western influence.

The Mission’s cinematography is praised for its breathtaking visuals.

The film’s stunning cinematography captures the beauty of the natural landscapes and the architectural wonders of the missions.

The Mission addresses issues of social justice and human rights.

The film sheds light on the exploitation of indigenous populations by European colonizers and raises awareness about the need for social justice.

The Mission’s screenplay was written by Robert Bolt.

Robert Bolt, known for his work on films like Lawrence of Arabia, crafted a compelling and emotionally charged script for The Mission.

The movie received critical acclaim for its powerful performances.

Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro deliver captivating performances that bring depth and complexity to their respective characters.

The Mission’s historical accuracy has been debated by scholars.

While the film takes inspiration from real events, some historians argue that it takes creative liberties for dramatic effect.

The Mission explores the moral dilemmas faced by the characters.

The film delves into the inner struggles of the characters as they grapple with their own beliefs and values.

The movie’s production faced challenges due to its remote filming locations.

The production team had to overcome logistical obstacles to shoot in the vast and often inaccessible landscapes of South America.

The Mission highlights the power of music to bring people together.

The film showcases the transformative effect that music can have in fostering connections and bridging cultural divides.

The movie’s release was met with mixed reactions from audiences.

While some viewers praised the film for its profound themes and stunning visuals, others criticized it for its length and pacing.

The Mission portrays the Jesuit missionaries as both heroes and flawed individuals.

The film presents a balanced portrayal of the Jesuit order, showcasing their dedication to their mission and their human imperfections.

The Mission is considered a classic in the historical drama genre.

The film has endured as a beloved masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with its compelling story and powerful performances.

The movie’s success helped raise awareness about the historical struggles of indigenous communities.

The Mission shed light on the often overlooked history of oppression faced by indigenous people and sparked conversations about the need for cultural preservation.

The Mission’s ending is emotionally impactful.

The film’s conclusion leaves a lasting impression, leaving viewers contemplating the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of personal choices.

The movie was praised for its authentic portrayal of the Guarani culture.

The Mission’s commitment to representing the Guarani people with respect and accuracy garnered praise from cultural experts and indigenous groups.

The Mission is a visually stunning film.

The cinematography, combined with the grandeur of the South American locations, creates breathtaking visuals that transport viewers into the world of the film.

The movie’s themes of sacrifice and redemption resonate with audiences.

The Mission’s exploration of these universal themes strikes a chord with viewers, evoking deep emotions and introspection.

The Mission received an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

The film’s cinematographer, Chris Menges, was recognized for his exceptional work in capturing the beauty and emotional depth of the story.

The movie’s soundtrack became a best-selling album.

Ennio Morricone’s mesmerizing score for The Mission received widespread acclaim and achieved commercial success, becoming a popular soundtrack album.

The Mission showcases the importance of cultural preservation.

The film highlights the value of preserving indigenous cultures and the devastating consequences of cultural assimilation.

The movie’s release coincided with renewed interest in the mission system in South America.

The Mission sparked a renewed fascination with the historical missions, leading to increased tourism and preservation efforts in the region.

The Mission received a Special Achievement Award for its sound mixing.

The film’s remarkable sound design and mixing were recognized with a Special Achievement Award at the Academy Awards.

The movie’s message of peace and understanding resonates strongly today.

The Mission’s call for compassion, reconciliation, and respect for cultural differences remains relevant in a world still grappling with similar issues.

The Mission was a box office success.

The film was well-received by audiences, grossing over $17 million worldwide, solidifying its commercial success.

The movie showcases the power of faith in times of adversity.

The Mission explores the unwavering faith of the characters in the face of conflicts and hardships, offering a message of hope and resilience.

The Mission’s historical context was meticulously researched.

The filmmakers devoted significant effort to accurately representing the historical events and cultural nuances surrounding the missions in South America.

The movie’s cast underwent extensive training.

Both Jeremy Irons and Robert De Niro immersed themselves in their roles, undergoing physical and mental preparation to portray their respective characters convincingly.

The Mission’s depiction of the Jesuits sparked controversy.

Some critics argued that the film presented a romanticized view of the Jesuit order, while others appreciated its nuanced portrayal.

The Mission continues to be celebrated as a cinematic masterpiece.

Decades after its release, The Mission remains a beloved film that has left a lasting impact on audiences and continues to draw new viewers with its timeless story.


With its powerful performances, breathtaking cinematography, and thought-provoking storyline, The Mission remains a cinematic masterpiece. This film, directed by Roland Joffé, offers a gripping portrayal of the struggles faced by Jesuit missionaries in 18th-century South America. Through its compelling narrative, The Mission raises important questions about colonialism, faith, and the clash of cultures.

The Mission’s enduring legacy can be attributed to its ability to captivate audiences and spark deep conversations about the complexities of human nature and the moral dilemmas faced by those caught in the midst of historical conflicts. This film serves as a reminder of the powerful impact that cinema can have in shedding light on historical events and encouraging viewers to reflect on the timeless themes it explores.

Whether you’re a fan of historical dramas, appreciate stunning cinematography, or seek thought-provoking storytelling, The Mission is a film that is sure to leave a lasting impression.


1. Who directed the movie The Mission?

Roland Joffé directed The Mission.

2. What is the main storyline of The Mission?

The Mission tells the story of Jesuit missionaries in 18th-century South America who struggle to protect indigenous peoples and their land while facing conflicts with colonial powers.

3. What themes does The Mission explore?

The Mission explores themes such as colonialism, faith, cultural clashes, and the complexities of human nature.

4. Are the performances in The Mission impactful?

Yes, the performances in The Mission are widely praised for their emotional depth and authenticity, with notable performances by Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons.

5. Is The Mission historically accurate?

While The Mission takes artistic liberties, it is based on real historical events and provides a compelling portrayal of the struggles faced by Jesuit missionaries during that time.

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