BLACK ROBE (1991)

DVD:
Bruce Beresford

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On March 27, 2016
Last modified:March 29, 2016

Summary:

A sad story of a French missionary priest trying to convert the Native Americans in 17th Century America and their mutual intolerance of each other's faith.

Not Rated. Our content rating:

  Violence 8; Language 3; Sex/Nudity 5.

Our star rating (1-5): 5

BlckRob

Once you have seen A League of Their Own your best for good summer viewing is to forsake the theater for the video store and your home TV set, especially now that Black Robe has been released for this market. This fine French Canadian film is a fasci­nating study of the clash between two very different cultures, that of 17th France and the Native American.

A young priest is commissioned to visit and convert a tribe to Christianity. To do so he must recruit and rely upon members of another tribe to guide them to his destination. As they interact through interpreters each is strengthened in his belief that his ways are superior and that the others are barbarians.

Especially sad is the priest’s narrow version of Christianity that can see no good in another’s religion. Of course, both in Europe and New England Christians them­selves were intolerant of any divergent views of the Faith, persecuting one another in the film conviction that they were doing Christ’s will. So it should not, perhaps, be so strange, but still, it is sad to see a sincere faith that inspires a man to endure such trials and hardships inspire contempt for others.

A film that could easily have been filmed as another wilderness adventure historical film is instead a fascinating study of human nature and the tragic con­flicts arising when two seemingly incompatible faiths and cultures meet. Do not let the French with English subtitles keep you from a real film treat!

Reprinted from the Aug. 1991 issue of VP.

A sad story of a French missionary priest trying to convert the Native Americans in 17th Century America and their mutual intolerance of each other's faith.

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