The Missionary in Blue (film)
|The Missionary in Blue|
Montecara Film Festival release poster
|O Missionário em Azul|
|Directed by||Enzio Romão|
|Written by||Enzio Romão|
|Produced by||Alvaro Cicci |
|Starring||Micael Góes |
|Edited by||Fábio Barros|
|Music by||Dmytro Yaremenko|
|Distributed by||RS Media|
|26 October, 2022 (Montecara) |
5 November, 2022 (Ardesia)
The Missionary in Blue (Luzelese: O Missionário em Azul) is an upcoming Etruro-Ardesian historical drama film directed and written by Enzio Romão set to premiere at the 83rd Montecara Film Festival and for wider release on November 5, 2022.
In the late 1530s Povelia, Catholic friar and missionary Teodor Aloysius (Micael Goes) is tasked by the church to travel to the colonized dominion of Novo Povelia.He's assigned a translator, Agostin Giacomo (), conquistador Iseppo Cavanei (), and charged with relieving his scores of conquistadors with supplies. Afterward, he began an ideal journal to record the experience from an angle of zeal in fulfilling the conversions of the natives and establishment of a church in the developing Monteverde.
I. The Voyage
Curious and already attempting to ease the arduous journey, he begins interacting with Agostin, though conflicted with the reality of having the unassimilated natives unlearnt of Povelian, and slated towards adapting to their way of life to ease conversion. When asking Iseppo about his experience in the colony, the conversation flows rigidly throughout, immediately reflecting on how it's turnout of benefit was little for them, with a considerably less focus on the natives. Teodor's interpretations of the conquistador guide written in his journal is described as withdrawn. The nau’s uneasy sailing causes Teodor to vomit frequently. As they continue to navigate the ocean, canted scenes of the nau’s deck go through harsh storms and is quickly overwhelmed by the precipitation. One such severe shower causes Teodor to retreat into a seemingly pitch-black interior.
II. The Corridor
Reintroduced, the missionary emerges from a separate period of a dwelling after a recording of the current situation of their voyage. Amidst his writings an ignored struggle with alcohol is seen as a result of the voyage length, driving a connotation towards Sotiras’s temptations. Soon he’s brought to view the Aurean strait in the middle of dawn, wondrously treading along the ships deck. Among him, the sailors are kept to the ship's maintenance and the conquistador lounging. We see how quiet and welcoming the strait at dusk is, though described as an unfound corner of hell to Iseppo based on its sky. The observations are of note in his journal as he remains on the deck, before being notified by Agostin of the possibility of awaiting horses and further conquistador guides. Within the strait, his observations leads to further monologues about the environment.
Over a fog, the three argue over the fulfillment of colonizing the lands. Teodor begins to reveal the practical cost of his work before Agostin leaves the conversation, detached from his view and criticizing how he could consider this and be a missionary. The nau finally reaches the mouth of the Cresconio river to the anxious packing of Teodor and begins stepping on the beach struggling against the gusts of wind.
III. The Friar's Plight
Iseppo finally takes the lead in guiding Teodor to his unit of fellow conquistadors with little ushering, where he sees them with a slew of various slaves. One of which seemingly belongs to Iseppo with a Vespasian name, Leandra. It’s discovered that they’re in a marriage, though the status of their contentment is in question. Teodor approaches one of them showing them the bible, unintentionally amuses the Eucleans around him and understands none of the slave's words. Few of which are muttered by the others, though with no subtitling. His stocky cloaked stance among the stocky crowd pointed out his alienating presence.
They silently begin their trip by readying the Zapoyans as porters for foodstuffs, materiels, and building materials. Constantly shown, Teodor’s struggle with the uneven geography of Ardesia constantly prevents him from keeping up, and enters frequent exhaustion on his mule. One of his rests is interrupted by the gathering of the enslaved Zapoyans concerned over one of the porters, being overworked and on the brink of death. Agostin attempted to translate with the Zapoyans for Teodor, before being halted by an impatient Iseppo. Agostin quickly confides with Teodor before offering the chance of baptizing the fatigued native and for him to enter heaven as a Sotirian before dying.
A makeshift baptism ceremony is underway as the slave is baptized until he succumbs to his symptoms. Agostin insists that Teodor bury the man for closure, before facing resistance by Iseppoand the rest of the conquistadors for they have to carry on and not further be interrupted. After being pressured they shortly leave the man’s body behind. The party would carry on until shortly near a riverbank at night. Already reaching low on the foodstuffs for the journey, Teodor watches on as the conquistadors and Agostin quietly eat their meals next to the Zapoyans. Some are seen attempting to collect freshwater snails. An attempt at embracing the food culture of the Zapoyans and reconciling their inequity would eventually wound him with bilharzia, which we initially see through a painfully handled blood in the urine. As he attempts to collect the look of his surroundings, Teodor succumbs to the symptoms while quivering on his cross necklace and abruptly collapses from his mule. Teodor wakes up as he’s being fed a cooked-up remedy of varying herbs while the party rests.
By now he’s at the visible look of resentment towards Ardesia. Agostin attempts to point the acknowledgment of these remedies towards the Zapoyans, to where he attempts to position Teodor into learning the language. Agitated by the complexity and his recovery, he immediately grows impatient and disavows any further lessons. Agostin further gives detail of their cultural attitudes, with further scoffing by Teodor. As they are ready to resume traveling, a rebelling Miztli party raids their group, Teodor is escorted by the conquistadors as a few of them and Agostin are killed. It’s figured some of the slaves were taken including Leandra. Her disappearance causes Iseppo to break down, and with the conquistadors ushering him to quickly move on, does so begrudgingly. With one of the few courteous guides now killed, Teodor grieves as he repents and begs to end the trip. Teodor eventually resumes traveling with the group as they carry through a heavy shower in the jungle.
IV. The Church
We see the dropping of building materials and the construction on top of the remains of a temple. Agostin writes his accounts of converting the natives of Monteverde, and how he remains gauche with them in their tongue. His bewilderment is no longer checked by the now-deceased guide. Resentment furthers towards those who construct the church, as he’s unable to fully communicate the specifics of the church’s construction. Its completion is urgently shared by the corregidor through a messenger, as he’s soon to arrive to witness the opening ceremony. It’s signaled the labor appointed by him can’t fail, or they face possible death. Teodor curses at his distance away from the situation in Montevideo, as figures handling the natives are similar to minors. A baptism ceremony is planned to be held as he speaks with the cacique of the town to be converted.
An additional missionary, Anzollo (Leonardo Simões), soon arrives in Monteverde to help with the wide population of the natives and the further purge of pre-contact beliefs. This contradicts Teodor’s reminded approach of allowing more free spirit, which he attempted to embrace. When asked how he arrived, he simply says that he traveled a short distance by the now fully explored Arrigo river, nearly setting Teodor off. Contempt already from Teodor, and silently dismisses him.
To set an easier precedent, the town’s cacique is now in the center of a baptism ceremony and given a Euclean name. More are followed through with Teodor’s rancor as he performs them on the children, no later further initiated into their Zapoyan beliefs. Seemingly Teodor had finally derived some form of levity. Activities of construction further involve him, though seen as nearly ridiculous with his lacking knowledge of architecture. Later in a slow-turning pan, the church facade turns to Teodor’s face of fret. Immediately after he writes in the journal at night, writing the intricacies of work for the nearly completed church, noting his exhorted prayers for completion before the arrival of the corregidor. His relapse into drinking while doing this would black him out. The next day the corregidor finally arrives, escorted by a band of conquistadors, one of which is Iseppo. Teodor wakes up from the hangover short of being late. The ceremony is a success as a native pulls the Sotirian cross upon its tower, and the bell successfully rings. Amidst the cheering, Teodor pulls on his face in relief with tears, patted with the ignored reassurance by Anzollo.
V. Canker's Tide
Note of disease gripping the dominion reaches Monteverde, as Teodor finally has settled Avello as his solemn companion. Teodor finishes word with churchgoers after mass, but it’s already evident it’s garnered a rodent infestation. No one attempts to clear it out. It’s found the cacique suffers from smallpox, and soon his various elites pin it towards the disregard of their sole tribal traditions. Teodor helps with calls of prayer with Anzollo but to no avail. The consumption of alcohol Teodor keeps grappling with his handling of the crisis. Soon the conquistadors are brought in to house the dead in homes, and have them pulled down as makeshift tombs. In his journal, he makes questions about how this would occur, even with doubt about the several ceremonies of baptism and if the will of God is executed correctly. Teodor notes that the victims had been stacked like bed bugs. No one attempts to further tend to the bodies.
A pan of the near desolate town suffering from the pandemic eventually focuses on a pile of indiscriminately deceased natives. Soon we’re seen the two missionaries laying at the entrance in front of the church. Teodor delivers a sullen fourth-wall monologue questioning the further course of events, and whether they’ve eased it to where they’ve gone to heaven as a result of this. It ends in a quiet numbing low note of combined Tzapotlan whistles and saxophone in huffed breaths as the camera slides away from the two.
A montage of the real slightly worn-out pre-colonial church in Monteverde is shown in a montage of panning cameras, accompanied by music. The last shot fades to a collection of mules near a riverbed in the rain and then finally to a darkened blue.