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 ... See full summary »
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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>
It took over four years to find financing for the film. No American studio was interested in doing it because it was about religion, so eventually the finance was drummed up from European and Canadian sources. Even with Oscar nominee Bruce Beresford expressing a desire to be at the helm, the Canadian investors were still very hard to convince. Until Beresford's film Driving Miss Daisy (1989) scooped the 1989 Oscar for Best Film. The success of "Dances with Wolves" was also instrumental in helping the film to get made. See more »
Chomina, left behind to die, says to the priest: an Algonquin word translated as "go", then "Black Robe", and the first word again. The subtitles, added here as to any Algonquin dialogue, substitute "my friend" for "Black Robe". This considerable shift in meaning, added in translation, is not compatible with the character. 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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As a retired Christian minister, I have perhaps a different view of the movie than some of the other reviewers.
I felt that Laforgue,the Jesuit Priest, showed amazing courage to undertake his mission under the most difficult of circumstances.
Director Bruce Beresford has addressed the issues of clashing cultures in several of his other films: Driving Miss Daisy, Mr. Johnson for example. And he presents the complexities of culture anew in this film.
I was struck by the absolute beauty of Québec and the film's cinematography.
Back to Laforgue for a moment: here is a protagonist that accomplishes his mission with wisdom, intellegence, prayer, dependence upon his faith, lack of violence, and persverance.
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