|The film True Missionaries are divided in two parallel stories, shown next to each other in an projection. The left part consists of quotes from the book The pearl of Africa (1949).
It is an travelog from east Africa, written by Lewi Pethrus
(1884-1974). He was a preacher and a prominent men in the swedish
pentecostal movement during several decades in the middle of the
1900´s, and he had an important impact on the christianity in
The visual material that complement the quotes, are pictures from other books about mission. There are also images from the fictional serie of books written in 1950´s, about a doctor in the jungle – Jungle Doctor written by Paul White.
In both the travelog from Lewi Pethrus and Jungle Doctor, the missionizing are described from a very exotic perspective. Both of being a missionary and the idea about being chosen, but also about the traveling in itself.
The right part of the film consists of material from Debora Elgeholm´s parents time as missionaries. There are some connections between their and Lewi Pethrus descriptions – as the trouble during car journeys. But instead of safari stories and Gods Calling to save souls, the missionaries daily life deals with broken refrigerator and longing for the children who studies far away on a boarding school.
Besides two travelogs, the film becomes an documentation over a specific time. Through putting the personal story in dialog with the historical and romantic picture of the true missionaries, the Christian heritage, that include the colonial aspect, becomes visible.