Cinema: Up the Creek the Mission

Directed by Roland Joffe Screenplay by Robert Bolt

Here is a movie betrayed by its own central image: South America's Iguazu Falls. Beautiful and powerful, the falls possess both an awesome mystery and an epic grandeur that only a great film could hope to duplicate. The Mission, a collaboration between the director of The Killing Fields and the writer of A Man for All Seasons (among other big machines), is not nearly up to the challenge.

The falls serve the picture as a moral and geographical dividing line. Above them, in 18th century Paraguay, live the Guarani Indians, which the movie asks us to believe were converted to Christianity...

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