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>
This movie was filmed "in sequence", that is to say, all of the scenes were filmed in the order in which they appear on the screen. 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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One of the Finest Portrayals of American Indians in the Movies
This film is brilliant, because it defies conventional stereotypes of European settlers and American Indians. This movie strives and succeeds in its portrayal of Indians and whites as human beings, rather than as villains or saints. Those who feel this movie would show the Indians as noble savages will be gravelly disappointed. The Indians in "Black Robe" can be cruel, and have sexual mores that would disgust the more prudish viewers. The affect of the Jesuit missionaries among the Indians of Quebec is not romanticized or glossed over, nor are the Jesuits shown as evil white devils. All humans in this movie have their flaws and weaknesses and all act "morally" according to their own cultures' expectations. Beresford has crafted a marvelous film that ought to be required viewing in college history courses across the country.
The cinematography is beautiful, whether we are watching the gilded altars of the cathedrals of Renaissance France, the iridescent glow of a fire at an Indian village, the cramped quarters of an Indian longhouse, or the awesome and heavenly magnificence of the Canadian woodlands and what appears to be the St. Lawrance River. This movie does feature explicit sexual acts and gruesome violence, so I would not recommend this movie at all for very young children. I think most teenagers can handle this film. I suppose this film is very hard to find at your local video rental store, but do yourselves a favor and find it. Your efforts will be amply rewarded.
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