Black Robe Review

The colonization of new lands came the Jesuit’s effort to convert the natives of those lands, but they fail to go into detail about the native’s struggle with converting. Black Robe shows how difficult it was for both the European missionaries and the locals of the land. For those settlers colonize the land, they first had to make natives convert to Christianity beginning with baptism. These baptisms sacralized the land. In the film, the natives’ and the Jesuit’s views were very different; one worships the physical surroundings it depended on and the other is devoted to the abstract idea of a God in the sky. Father LaForgue, a devout Jesuit is so convinced that the “savages” need to find God that is unaccepting of their own beliefs and mentality. In a way he is blinded by his own veneration and makes no effort to understand the natives. On the other hand, Daniel is a character that provides an awareness and acceptance of both sides of the conflict, learning about the Native’s beliefs although he is also Christian. The natives see the French as demonic and thoughtless and reject the simplest act of even written language as repulsive. To them what they do not understand is demonic, while to the French what is unusual is savage. On their unfortunate encounter with the Iroquois, father Laforgue chants a prayer when forced to sing, does the sign of the cross on every dead body he encounters, and believes they will never see “heaven” or “paradise”. The natives find this silly and illogical.


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