The Black Robe Review By: Lexi Moore

“Black Robe” is a movie about a Jesuit Priest traveling to Canada, specifically Quebec, to try and convert the Algonquin Indians to Catholicism. The Jesuit Priest and his companion went through harsh times, traveling from France to Quebec, trying to survive through the cold winter. The people of the town called the Indians “savages” and the Indians called them destroyers. There was conflict between these two groups which cause a lot of goriness. This movie surprised me, I did not expect the movie to end how it did and I did not expect the goriness it showed.

This movie was made to show the conversion in the seventeenth century. At the beginning of the movie, the Indians were disrespected by Father Paul Laforgue and not seen as real people. He called them “savages” and only saw them as a quest to convert them. The movie begins with Father Paul Lafrogue planning to set on a dangerous trip to seek the Algonquin Indians. Father Lafrogue brings along an assistant on their dangerous trip. He planned to help the unwell Jesuits that were currently there. At the beginning of the movie, Father Laforgue is confident that he can fix the Indian’s way of life and converting them to Catholicism. When Father Paul Laforgue gets there, he realizes and examines the Indians way of life and realizes how different it is from the French culture. The Indians have much respect for their land and share everything within the people. Conflict arises because of the difference in cultures and beliefs. Daniel and Father Lafrogue are interested in their way of culture.The Algonquin Indians, Father Lafrogue, and Daniel set on a trip with the Algonquin guides. During the time, Daniel (his helper), falls in love with an Indian girl. Because of his love for the Indian girl, conflict arises. Father Lafrogue catches the two, Daniel and the Indian girl, in the woods together having sex and he gets mad and scared about what will happen.  One of the Indian’s tries to convince the Indian girl that every young boy thinks she is pretty and it was the same for her mom. The Indian tells her to forget about the French boy. She tells the Indian that she likes him, but the Indian explains that he can not provide for her and that he is stupid. The Indians thought about killing the Black Robe, which is Father Lefrogue and Daniel. The Indians decided to find a sorcerer to help them figure out what to do. Another conflict arises, when the Indians catch Father Lefrogue with a baby and praying to God to bless this child. The Indians start to realize how Father Lefrogue is stealing their spirit. One of the Indians try to kill Daniel, but is stopped by another Indian because he made a promise to take them on the Huron mission. While on the mission, the Indians and Daniel were being shot at and some many Indians were killed. The ones who were not killed were taken as prisoners and were brutally tortured. The other tribe would stand in a line and make the Algonquin Indians walk through it and beat them and cut off body parts. Finally the Algonquin Indian snuck out of the other tribe, but had to learn how to survive the brutal winter. People died during their trip back. At the end of the movie, the Indians end up converting.

This movie reminds me a lot of Pocahontas and how John Rolfe falls in love with her while she is kidnapped and held for ransom. It is like the Pocahontas movie because she is converted to Christianity, like the Indians are being converted to Christianity.  The difference between the movies, is that the missionaries are French and in the Pocahontas movie they are English. The movie really surprised me, I never expected for Daniel to fall in love with one of the Indians that they were trying to convert, but I did see how him falling in love would cause conflict between the Indians and the French. The Indian and the French culture is very different, but I loved seeing one Indian always making sure the Black Robe was taken with them. He always made sure they were not killed or left for death. This movie helped me see how the old days were and how tribes tortured other tribes for being in their land. Their land was very sacred to them and they really respected it. This movie made me understand the hardship that missionaries went through to try and convert the new enterprises of colonization. In the beginning of the movie, the French and the Indians really did not respect each other. The French called the Indians “savages” and the Indians called the French destroyers or demons. By the end of the book, they respected each other after being tortured together for being converted to Christianity.

I am giving this movie a 9/10, I usually do not like gory movies, but I liked the ending and how love was shown in the movie between Daniel and the Indian girl. I did not like how much torture the Indians went through and at times it made me uncomfortable watching. Even though this movie shows the real goriness of what happened during these times, it really surprised me on how much this movie pertains to history. I would recommend this movie to my guy friends, because guys love goriness, but I think this movie was not for me.


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