FlickPicks: Missions

This year Friends of World Mission celebrates fifty years of support for global ministry projects, so we asked a few Covenant leaders to share their favorite films on missions. A few of their recommendations:

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The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Ingrid Bergman stars as a working-class woman in the 1930s who leaves her home in Liverpool hoping to become a missionary in China. When tragedy strikes, she finds an entirely different kind of work.  1958, Unrated

The Mission

Set in eighteenth-century South America where Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) serves the Guaraní people living in the rain forest through a Jesuit mission that is being threatened by ecclesial and geopolitical forces. Christian contends against Christian; nonviolent opposition stands in tension with armed but doomed resistance. Rich themes of atonement, power, grace, and forgiveness.  1986, Rated PG

Peace Child

This dramatic documentary traces the missionary journey of Don and Carol Richardson in the early 1960s as they worked among the Sawi tribespeople in the jungles of New Guinea. At the heart of this powerful story: the collision of the Sawis’ cannibalistic way of life with the disruptive message of the gospel.  1972, Unrated

The Nun’s Story

Starring Audrey Hepburn and set in Belgium and Belgian Congo in the years leading up to World War II, this film masterfully portrays the tensions that arise between individual calling and organizational expectations. In serving Christ and humanity, how far does the obligation of obedience go, and when does following one’s conscience supervene?  1959, Unrated

Through Gates of Splendor

Elisabeth Elliot narrates this documentary on the five young missionaries who were killed by the Waodani in Ecuador in 1956. Drawing on her own personal involvement, she describes the group’s motivation and preparation, the young widows’ sober reception of the dire news, and the outcome when the Waodani eventually received the gospel message. End of the Spear presents a fictionalized portrayal of these events from the perspective of Waodani tribe leader Mincayani. 1967, Unrated

Molokai: The Story of Father Damien

David Wenham plays Father Damien, a humble priest from Belgium who volunteered to go to the leper colony on the small Hawaiian island to hear confessions and administer the sacraments. Essentially an open air prison, the leper colony was a place of squalor where the government sent persons with what is now known as Hansen’s disease. Father Damien ministered among the residents until he contracted leprosy and died there in 1889.  1999, Rated PG

Special thanks to Dwight Baker, Chris Hoskins, and Meritt Lohr Sawyer for their contributions to this list.

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