Black Robe Movie Review

In the 1991 film “Black Robe” , Father Laforgue, who is a priest for the Christian religion, has an ultimate goal of basically converting the Natives of the land they have colonized into Christianity. The priest brings it upon himself to do this because he , in his own way , represents and interprets what God wants and for him , his greatest achievement is to “save” these Natives by converting them.

For the Christians , by colonizing and automatically beginning to establish their religion, they turn this profane space, the “New World”/ Native’s homeland, into their own sacred space. This is why Father Laforgue is so eager to bring these Natives on this journey to “salvation”. He wants them to convert so that they can all share that sacred space together, within that one religion.

One of my favorite parts in this movie was actually in the very beginning, when they show both of the individuals from the different religions , the Christians and the Natives , and they demonstrate how each have their own rituals , but in actuality, their rituals are fairly similar. One thing that I did not like about the film , but that unfortunately is still a prominent issue today, is the way that the colonizers felt towards the religion of the Natives. For example , why must the Christians have felt the need to strip these Natives of their own religion and beliefs , so that they can implement their own and claim the Native’s space as their own sacred space? Why couldn’t both religions live peacefully and respectively among themselves and share the land? Another issue is that , Father Laforgue does not believe what the Natives practice to be a a religion, especially since they do not believe in an actual “God” , just in the spirits within nature.

For most of the movie, Daniel a Frenchman who assisted Father Laforgue on his journey, felt the same way, but it was not until he fell in love with a Native woman that made him see their religion in a completely different perspective.Overall , I do feel the movie did a great job comparing both religions and how they struggle to maintain stability within each religion and their people.


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