“There’s a fine line between faith and madness.”
National Geographic Documentary Films has released a trailer for an interesting and tragic documentary titled The Mission. The story centers on a 26-year-old Christian missionary from America named John Chau, who ended up being killed by an Indigenous group on an island off the coast of India, This was one of the last communities on the planet that was still living in isolation.
The film was directed by Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss and it’s a “gripping murder mystery that examines the moral and ethical implications of John Chau’s story to probe deeply into the complicated history of colonialism and global exploration.”
In 2018, “a shocking event made headlines around the world: a young American missionary, John Chau, was killed by arrows while attempting to contact one of the world’s most isolated Indigenous peoples on remote North Sentinel Island. From Emmy-winning directors Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss with Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn & Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn of Lightbox, comes National Geographic Documentary Films’ The Mission, which uncovers the gripping story beyond the headlines. Through exclusive interviews and with unprecedented access to Chau’s secret plans, personal diaries, and video archives, The Mission examines the mythology of exploration that inspired him, the evangelical community that supported his quest, and reveals his own father’s heartbreak as Chau’s youthful thirst for adventure became a fatal obsession.”
McBaine and Moss said in a statement: “Looking closely at John Chau’s death, we found a complicated, layered story, equal parts adventure and tragedy. At its core, it’s an intimate drama, an emotional dialogue between father and son. But it also raises questions for all of us about the great historical forces that have shaped our world, about the implications of faith and the legacy of the so-called Age of Discovery. It’s a story worthy of the big screen, and one that echoes the epic tales that inspired John and finally doomed him.”
The Mission will premiere at the 2023 Telluride Film Festival this week and it will be released in select theaters (NY & Toronto) starting on October 13th, 2023, and in the UK starting November 17th this fall.