Black Robe- Movie Review

The movie is about a priest whose name is Father LaForgue or also named “Black Robe” by other characters in the movie. Father LaForgue, alongside with the character Daniel , go on a quest to spread the faith of Catholicism to other natives in the “New World”. The priests are so involved in the enterprise of colonization because their duty is to spread the message about the religion of Catholicism to new lands and people.

The colonizers sacralize the “New World” by placing religions symbols attributed to Catholicism/Christianity onto buildings and the land in general. Throughout the movie, crosses can be seen placed on the roof of buildings, which lead Father LaForgue to know that the building can be considered a “safe place” for him and others that follow the religion. Father LaForgue can view the “New World” as profane when he notices the actions that some of the natives commit. He believes that the devil rules on the lands that do not follow Christianity.

The relationship between power and knowledge in both religions are distinct. The religion of Christianity revolves around God. God is the central power in this religion. Knowledge about the religion is obtained through readings of the sacred text, the Bible. However, natives receive power and knowledge with the force of nature. Natives take into consideration each sign given to them through nature and dreams. Natives believe that both factors combined will reveal to them what is reality.

The dialogue between Father LaForgue and Daniel differs because they both demonstrate the difference in their beliefs. Both follow the same religion, however, Daniel seems to be more open-minded in general. Daniel constantly reminds Father LaForgue of different perspectives to view a situation. Meanwhile, Father LaForgue had a more conservative perspective and did not trust the natives to a certain extent. However, Father LaForgue can also represent to be the “modern man” because he can compromise and does sin like everyone else. Father LaForgue’s understanding about religion is more about the right action. He urges natives to convert to Christianity because it will allow them to rest in “paradise” once they die.

The natives and French do not see each other eye to eye. The natives considered Father LaForgue to be a demon because he kept trying to convert them throughout the movie. The French also had a negative view towards them. The natives feared to convert to Christianity because they believed that they would be punished for abandoning their tribe and beliefs. For Father LaForgue it was so important for him to convert the natives because he wanted the natives to experience the power of God and go to “paradise” at the end.

 

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