Blackrobe Movie Review

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‘Black Robe' Movie Critique

‘Black Robe' is the story of a young Jesuit Priest from France who embarks on a religious journey to convert, to Christianity, the Aboriginal tribes of New France. Set primarily in Ontario during the mid 1630's, Father Lafargue travels from Quebec via the Ottawa River to the home of the Huron people in what is now referred to as the Simcoe Region of South Central Ontario. He is aided by a band of Algonquin-speaking people, numbering roughly 20 and a young Frenchman with aspirations of Priesthood in the motherland. Blackrobe offers an intriguing insight into the relationships between the French and the Aboriginals. That being said most of the background for the movie is taken from a massive archive of Jesuit texts which needs to be taken into consideration when objectively looking at the portrayal of the Aboriginals. Blackrobe is a fictional movie although for the most part it is historically accurate and has been accepted as such by many historians and Aboriginal people alike. When critically reviewing ‘Black Robe' it is important to look at the relationships between the two vastly different cultures and how they are represented. To a lesser extent it is important to look at the different Aboriginal tribes and how they not only interact with themselves, but with the French and Jesuits as well. The portrayal of the Europeans in the feature film ‘Black Robe' was one of social superiority in relation to the Aboriginal tribes, specifically the Algonquin and Iroquois and to a lesser extent the Huron. This does not, however, qualify Europeans as ‘good' and the Aboriginals as ‘bad' as that aspect of interpretation would better be left to moral philosophers and not historians or movie critics.

The relationship between the French and the Aboriginals is important to address as it is one of the central themes of the movie. Throughout the film there seems to be a conflict of ideals based somewhat on the lack of understanding of...
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