BLACK ROBE: Movie Review by Analee Wharton

The movie Black Robe is basically about a set of Jesuit missionaries who set out to convert an Indian tribe in New France to Christianity.

-At that time priests were ranked very highly in society, known as “soldiers of heaven,” and the French believed that if any one would be able to convert the indians, it would be the priests because they had the closest connection to God.

-The colonizers established churches and marked their holy places with crosses

-The New World is “profane” simply because it was outside of what the colonizers considered to be sacred and the indians had different beliefs and practices.

-The colonizers believe that the only way to achieve power is through the knowledge of the book. Seek out God worship Him, and he will reward you with all that you need. Conversely, the indians lived off of the land. In their eyes the only way to achieve power is through knowledge of the forest for that is how they eat and sustain themselves.

-Father LaForgue was a lot more traditional in his beliefs about the Indians, where as Daniel was of a younger generation and he was a lot more understanding of them. LaForgue said that if they do not convert the indians they (the indians) will never get into heaven…Daniel on the other hand was a bit skeptical of this. Also at one point Daniel even made it a point to ask LaForgue if he though that they might be wrong about the Indians because to him, the indians were sweet, always willing to share without question. LaForgue thought this was stupid of them…they lived for the moment and did not plan for the future.

-LaForgue represents the modern man in that he carried out his day to day tasks remembering that he’s Christian first and foremost.

-Personally, I think that LaForgue’s understanding of conversion is more about right belief because he is a man of God and his religion meant everything to him. At the end of the day he did say that if the Indians do not convert they wont make it to heaven.

-The French see the Natives as savages who belong in the forest and the Natives view the French as intruders and demons.

-To the natives they believed that if they converted it would be like abandoning all of their traditions and beliefs, which would ultimately result in death and shame.

-For Father LaForgue he thinks that it is important for him to convert the Indians because it is his job and duty as a priest to show them the right way.


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