Mission (film di Roland Joffé del 1986)

Dopo i fasti di URLA DEL SILENZIO nel 1984, vincitore di 3 Oscar, Roland Joffé dirige nel 1986 MISSION, il suo film più noto.

L’avvincente e toccante trama parte con il cacciatore di schiavi Rodrigo Mendoza che, accecato dalla gelosia, uccide il fratello Felipe il quale in segreto viveva una relazione con Carlotta la donna che egli ama. L’accaduto lo spinge, divorato dal rimorso, a lasciarsi morire rifiutando di nutrirsi, ma Padre Gabriel lo convince ad affrontare una penitenza che soppianti la morte, convincendolo. Rodrigo allora affronta le cascate caricandosi un fardello contenente la propria armatura e la sua spada, dando il là ad una delle più originali e significative scene della storia del cinema. Scontato il supplizio Mendoza sposa la causa gesuita prendendo i voti. Nel tempo i missionari hanno costruito un villaggio offrendo protezione agli Indios, tenendoli distanti dalla schiavitù delle piantagioni, cosa che irrita i coloni spagnoli e portoghesi danneggiati nei loro interessi economici. A quel punto interviene un inviato del pontificio il cardinale Luis Altamirano che, pur ammirando l’operato della missione, decreta che la stessa e il popolo nativo lascino il territorio a vantaggio dei ricchi faccendieri. Gli Indios si oppongono e la conseguenza è lo scontro fra le due fazioni, benché Padre Gabriel proponga un’improbabile opposizione pacifica, ma la battaglia imperversa con conseguenze devastanti per i gesuiti e il popolo locale mentre Rodrigo, prima di spirare, assiste alla morte di Padre Gabriel.

Girato tra Brasile, Colombia, Argentina e Paraguay, MISSION si concede una licenza narrativa confluendo gli eventi con la storia delle missioni fondate nella prima metà del XVII secolo sul fiume Paranapanema. Vincitore della Palma d’oro, MISSION fu candidato a sette Oscar vincendo quello per la fotografia, ponendosi anche come uno splendido spaccato della natura messa realisticamente in evidenza da una scenografia impressionante e una colonna sonora composta e diretta da Ennio Morricone, suggestiva e senza confini.

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