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The Mission

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In 2018, American missionary John Chau, age 26, traveled illegally to one of the most difficult-to-reach places on Earth– North Sentinel Island, in the Bay of Bengal– with the single-minded goal of converting one of the world’s most isolated populations to Christianity, despite knowing that trespassers risk being shot at with arrows. This misguided mission would quickly see him killed. Through voice-over readings of John’s journal entries and heart-wrenching observations from his grieving father, The Mission provides unique insight into the persistent dangers of religious fanaticism. Bolstered by beautifully imagined, animated reenactments and thoughtful selections of archival film footage, this intriguing documentary explores the troubling legacy of the romanticized colonial-era exploration narratives that inspired John’s mission. Highlights include interviews with historian Adam Goodheart and anthropologist T.N. Pandit– some of the few people to have seen North Sentinel Island up close– as well as darkly amusing anecdotes from linguist and former missionary Daniel Everett, who recounts losing his Christian faith to the Amazonian Pirahã tribe.


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Country of Origin







In English, Latin, Piraha, Hindi, Sarikoli and Onge with English subtitles

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Content Warning

Nudity; violence; sexual language

102 min

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Executive Producer

Carolyn Bernstein, Doug Bock Clark


Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine, Will Cohen


Thorsten Thielow


Jason Carpenter


Aaron Wickenden


Jesse Moss headshot
Amanda McBaine headshot

Jesse Moss & Amanda McBaine

Jesse also directed The Family, a five-part series for Netflix, as well as the Payday episode of the Netflix series Dirty Money. Their recent film about Pete Buttigieg’s campaign for president, Mayor Pete, was released by Amazon Studios.

Filmography: The Overnighters (2014); Boys State (2020); Mayor Pete (2021)

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