Friday, 18 September 2009
The Mission:Scene portraying one man's guilt, remorse, self effort, despair, grace, forgiveness, redemption and final restoration.
This clip shows one of my favourite scenes from ‘The Mission’. In it Mendosa (superbly acted by De Niro) is doing penance for the guilt of killing the brother he loved. He would have preferred to die for the killing but was talked out of it by Father Gabriel (Irons). When the native holds the knife to his throat it seems almost a relief to him. He had come to the end of his own self effort to free himself from the guilt but failed. To use the Pauline phrase of Romans 7 he had cried out in his heart: ‘Wretched man that I am who will deliver me from this body of death’. It is then, when he comes to the end of himself, he receives grace and forgiveness when the tribesman cuts lose his burden and lets it fall along with his sins and guilt into the water. Here we see echoes of ‘Christian’ being set free from his burden in Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress. He’s finally free at last.