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In the 17th century a Jesuit priest and a young companion are escorted through the wilderness of Quebec by Algonquin Indians to find a distant mission in the dead of winter. The Jesuit experiences a spiritual journey while his young companion falls in love with the Algonquin chief's beautiful daughter underneath the imposing and magnificent mountains. Dread and death follows them upriver. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
"Post production [was] carried out in Sydney, Australia" according to the film's closing credits. The picture was a Canadian-Australian co-production with filming conducted in both France and Canada. See more »
Near the end, Father LaForgue digs a grave fairly easily with only a shovel in what would clearly have been frozen ground in the dead of winter. See more »
[watching LaForgue give the last rites to a dying baby]
Watch this, he is going to cast a spell.
Oh God of mercy, please bless this innocent child...
No. He is talking to his God.
[making the sign of the cross]
... in nomini patri et fili et spiritu sancti...
See that sign? That's how they steal our spirit.
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I have to applaud Bruce Beresford. After his huge success with Driving Miss Daisy, I believe he could have had his choice to direct any film that he wanted to. To take on a small Canadian/Australian film is not only inspiring but it shows that this must be personal to him in some way. And it shows here as well. His direction shows that he cares for the subject and the people and the landscape. Everything is precise and pristine and immaculate. I am not a huge historian when it comes to colonization in Canada, and that is a shame, perhaps I should be. After all, my elementary school history teacher once told me that there are two things that are given to you when you are born, one is your name and the other is your nationality. Be proud of both. And it is subjects and films like this that he would have been proud of and so am I. Although you can get just as much out of this if you are American, there is just a little more substance to it if you are Canadian. After all, these were jesuits and these are the Iroquois and the Hurons and this is snowy, fridgid Quebec in the winter. These are all very Canadian and it is a film that tries to shed some light on how our country became what it is today. It is films like this that remind us as Canadians that we do have a history. And as silly as that may sound, it is an important statement. Go up to the average Canadian, any Canadian, young or old and ask them to name all the capitals of our 10 provinces and now 3 territories and I'll bet 6 times out of ten that they can't do it. Ask them if the Baffin Islands are a part of Canada or ask them where the Strait of Juan De Fuca is and they won't know. I am not in that category, I know my fair bit about my country, but I am unfortunately one that does not enough about things like Samuel De Champlain and what party Sir Wilfred Laurier was a part of and I certainly don't know much about subjects that Black Robe deals with. And even though it sounds like this film is good and important only because it teaches us about our history, that is not true. It is an interesting film but it is also very well made. I was intriuged and my eyes were wide open during this film. The acting and the direction and of course the photography was superb. But as much as this film was a good cinematic experience, I have to say that all Canadians should see it for it's historical importance. It is a part of history and it is something that should intrigue us all. I am very proud to say that this is at least partly funded, produced and distributed by Canadians and it is something that all of us should see at least once. It is a good film and it will teach us a great deal about out own country, and that is something that all of us need.
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