Sometimes an actor will work on what is referred to as a ‘passion project” or a “pet project”. This is a usually a movie or a play that the actor is doing for his or her art or maybe something about the project really speaks to them and they just have to do it. They are often independent films, so the actors are getting paid a lot less than they would normally get on a studio picture. One example would be “Wonderful World” which was a passion project of Matthew Broderick. “La Mission” is such a project for Benjamin Bratt.
The problem with projects such as these is that the actors are too close to them. If there are any problems with the screenplay or, maybe the director, the actor may be blind to such problems. Since the writer and director of “La Mission” was Benjamin’s brother, Peter Bratt, Benjamin either couldn’t see some of the problems with this movie, or he just wanted to let his inexperienced brother make his movie (the last time Peter wrote and directed a movie was almost fifteen years ago).