Black Robe Movie Review

This movie was able to successfully show the interactions of priests preaching Christianity in Quebec.  In the movie, the Natives see nature around them as a sacred space that takes care of them, while the French see nature as something to take over and conquer.  They sought to expand and colonize.  The natives interpreted time by looking up at the sun, the moon, and the stars.  The black robe was supposed to symbolize the imposing of the French and the Catholic religion in Quebec.  Priests were involved in the enterprise of colonization because the spread of Christianity was very important for France.  The relationship between the power of the book versus the forest is that the knowledge of the book is essential for the christian religion, while the general knowledge of nature was important for the natives’ religion.  They believed it was important to trust their dreams.  In the movie, one of the Natives has a dream and believes it is a vision that must be fulfilled.  This story is being told in the perspective of the French (Father LaForgue).  In the eyes of the French, becoming civilized involved becoming Christian because all the moral and civilized values are a part of the Christian belief.  Father LaForgue and Daniel’s views differ because Father LaForgue believes Quebec is being controlled by the devil.  He believes they cannot be saved as long as they choose to not believe in Christ.  Daniel is not a very passionate believer and does not believe the same as father LaForgue.  Father LaForgue represents the modern ‘man’ because he was civilized, could read and write, and new the word of God.  Father LaForgue’s idea of conversion to Christianity involves right belief as the highest priority.  Many times in the movie when people are about to die, he goes to them and tells them to believe and they will be saved.  This shows that Father LaForgue believes more in conversion based on belief then action because if he believed conversion was based off of actions, he would not be trying to convert them as they are dying.  The French and some native tribes see each other like allies.  The natives help guide the French around the territories, while the French give the Natives goods.  Although they both still have distrust towards one another.   For the natives, conversion did not have a direct connection to punishment.  Although after the natives were converted at the end of the movie, they got slaughtered later on and the priests got sent back.  It was important to Father LaForgue to convert the natives because he felt like it is important for everyone to have the opportunity to be saved.

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