Missionary Men (When One Is Liam Neeson)
Maybe it’s his general uprightness or the fact that he looks like Jesus in the proper light, but Liam Neeson is the actor you put in a film about Christian colonialism — be it 13th century Jerusalem, 17th century Japan, or 18th century Argentina. The Irish stalwart binds this week’s trio of movies about Christian missionaries and the ethics of that mission. After a quick Neeson primer, we begin at the 5-minute mark with The Mission. That’s the 1986 epic in which Robert De Niro and Jeremy Irons team up to save an indigenous South American tribe from slavery, and also serve God’s will. At 21:20, we discuss 2005’s Kingdom Of Heaven, which is Ridley Scott riffing on The Crusades for three hours. His characters are very into serving God’s will. At 34:20, we come to the new Martin Scorcese film Silence, which pits the faith of two Jesuit priests (and their desire to serve God’s will) against a Japanese state deadset on stamping out their influence. It’s nearly nine hours of film and two people completely unqualified to discuss Christianity! Let us begin.
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Be Reel is a movie reviewing & reappraising podcast hosted by Chance Solem-Pfeifer and Noah Ballard.
Each time out, we select three movies based around a genre and call up guests ranging from submarine captains to Oscar winners. Then, we rate the movies, weighing both technical quality and entertainment.
Noah and Chance are old friends who mostly respect each other’s opinions. Even though Chance is a fool and a traitor. Find their show presented at ThePlaylist.Net and follow them on Twitter for the latest on Noah’s literary agenting and Chance’s work in the Portland arts scene.