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A high angle of a man wearing a backpack walking down the shoreline next to the blue ocean.

The Mission

  Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine

  United States, India     104 minutes


In 2018, a shocking event made headlines around the world: A young American missionary, John Chau, was killed while attempting to contact one of the world’s most isolated Indigenous peoples in the South Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal. Combining an amazing collection of archival videos with soul-searching interviews with his father, friends, and colleagues, this absorbing documentary recounts the complex journey of a well-meaning and passionate — though perhaps misguided — man.

From Emmy-winning co-directors Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss (Boys State) and Oscar-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire), The Mission digs deep into a host of profound issues. It interrogates the same kind of anthropological documentary that it draws from, and asks penetrating questions about the lines between faith and fanaticism, exploration and exploitation, and imagination and destruction.

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

Screenings & Events


Film Credits

  •   Jonathan Chinn, Simon Chinn, Will Cohen, Jesse Moss, Amanda McBaine
  •   Doug Bock Clark, Carolyn Bernstein
  •   Lightbox, Mile End Films


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Logo: WTTW (2019)Cynthia Stone Raskin