Black Robe Movie Review

The movie “Black Robe” portrays the great importance of colonization of the Americas and the influence of religion on a native society. In the movie the priest, Laforgue embarks on the journey of colonization to educate the “savages”, known as Native Americans, and grant them a form of salvation with God. The colonizers sacralize the new world by attempting to convert the Indians into Christianity and build churches. The priests built a sort of axis mundi in the way they try to enforce their world and their religion to the new world that they had came into by building their churches and implement their rituals. To the colonizers, the “New World” is considered profane because they have no connection or relevance to it, thinking of it as wild land inhabited by the natives, to an extent where they considered the dark forest to be evil. To the French, knowledge is gained through what is written on the bible while to the Natives, knowledge is gained from nature, dreams and spirits. In the movie, Father Leforgue wants to convert the natives to Christianity and fails to understand why they would refuse God. The character of Daniel, however accepts them for who they are thinking they are intelligent and peculiar in their own way. Father Leforgue’s understanding of conversion is more on false belief. He does not recognize them as Christians unless they are baptized, despite them acting as “proper” Christians. The consequence of conversion for the Indians is the complete elimination from their tribes. Once they stop being natives and start being Christians their identity as a Native American and member of their tribe is completely lost, considering them as traitors and resulting in them getting killed. The French see the natives as savages in need of salvation; they consider themselves greater beings with a lot to offer. The Natives see the French as weird and a threat because they want to take away their customs, identity, and what is sacred to them. Father Leforgue is a good example of the modern man because he is completely modernized, in the sense that he comes from the city where there are sufficient sources for survival and is able to live well off. He also a modern man because he thinks like “the perfect Christian”. He finds it his solemn duty to save these natives and modernize them, converting them into Christians for the sake of them not going to Hell, a job enforced to him by God himself.

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