Every year, over 60,000 young missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sent across the world to preach their gospel. Sundance Film Festival selection THE MISSION follows four Latter-day Saints teenagers from their training in Utah to their missions in Finland, home of Europe’s most private and secular people. Tania Anderson's film tracks these wide-eyed, impassioned teens on their two-year rite of passage, as they struggle with being immersed in a new culture, and the daily rejections they inevitably receive throughout their task. Granted total access by the Church, THE MISSION is a sensitive observational documentary detailing the challenges and triumphs of these missionaries' journeys.
- "Part anthropological study, part reality show, Tania Anderson’s The Mission is a fascinating look at a bunch of clean-cut American teens who fly to Finland to spread the word of their religion."
- "Anderson is incredibly empathetic toward her subjects; her observational style with no voiceover or expert talking heads means she doesn't force an opinion on the viewer."
- "Anderson's incredible sensitivity lets personal epiphanies steadily accumulate in power, yielding a film in which the particulars of a religious practice may be fascinating, but the process of learning to have faith in oneself is even more compelling."
- "An intriguing glimpse into a hidden world."
- "The Mission offers an empathetic portrait of the sacrifices made by young American Mormons while spreading word about their faith."
- "An unexpected portrait of humanity and understanding."
- "The Mission is an enlightening gateway into the world of missionaries that demands to be seen, no matter one’s religious affiliation."
- "A rewarding and empathetic study of young Mormons."
- "The Mission is an enthralling portrait of a group of young people who put their lives on hold to serve their church. They’re fascinating subjects and this ... makes The Mission a thoughtful and curious piece of filmmaking."
Awards & Recognition
Grand Jury Prize - Documentary
Sundance Film Festival
Ad Hoc Docs Competition
Cleveland Int'l. Film Festival
Göteborg Film Festival
Best International Documentary
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival