Black Robe Movie Review

The film “Black Robe” portrays the story of the first encounters between the Huron Indians in Quebec and the Jesuit missionaries from France attempting to convert the natives of the land to Catholicism. Father Laforgue, a devout Jesuit priest with a fire to help the natives convert to Christianity, a major backfire when the French began to colonize. In the time span of the film, he undergoes a vigorous journey in the winter guided along by the Algonquins. Algonquins were a native tribe willing to lead the French Jesuits on their mission in exchange for monetary trade such as tobacco and weaponry. While watching this movie, “The Revenant” came to mind. “The Revenant” is a 2015 survival drama, starring Leonardo Dicaprio, dealing with similar aspects between the native tribes, the brutal weather and natural forces, and even religious or spiritual moments. An aspect of the film that was handled superbly had been the pragmatic righteousness of the French and Jesuit priests, believing to think what they were doing was in the right, that they needed to save these Algonquins from their own ignorance. In contrast to the French and Father Laforgue’s character, the Algonquin’s chief and tribe which offered to guide Laforgue to a missionary believed in the community and resourcefulness of the tribe, as well as ancestral wisdom, a different afterlife, spirits, and the natural world. “Black Robe” is a film that caught my attention greatly after still having “The Revenant” fresh in my head, and is a cinematic art piece that shares a historical interest for those who like learning about the history of Europeans in Northern America. Gritty, real, and surprisingly somber, the film is definitely worth the watch from a personal opinion.

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