Not Rated. Our content rating:
Violence 8; Language 3; Sex/Nudity 5.
Our star rating (1-5): 5
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.