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Top Customer Reviews
Black Robe is a movie that makes you feel "this is how things really were." It shows both Native Americans and European settlers honestly in all their humanity and complexity. But the issues are 17th century issues, not 21st century issues. The movie is not self-concious, or preachy, or pushing a particular agenda. It's just telling a good story, and telling it very well.
This is perhaps the best and most accurate portrayal of Native Americans in any movie ever. They are shown neither as noble, politically correct, ecologically sound, wise heroes, nor as racist caricatures. They are shown as real people, and as individuals with their own personal concerns and opinions. There is no glossing over harsh living conditions, violence, brutality, torture, and superstition. But honor, loyalty, love, and closeness to nature are just as vividly present - as are doubt, deception, self-interest, and cruelty.
The French are likewise shown in a real, accurate and believable way. The narrow-mindedness of the Jesuits and their perverse desire for martyrdom are shown along with their deep sincerity and courage. Colonial attitudes and the overwhelming role of religion in 17th century culture are there, but the characters are never caricatures. Neither European nor Native American religions are denigrated, but both are shown to have their flaws as well as their values.Read more ›
The Jesuits presented a wonderful depiction of the people they were trying to convert. Some of the stories are very funny- one Algonquin hired by the Jesuits to be a translator was asked by his employers for the Algonquin words relating to spiritual and religious topics. The translator instructed them and the Jesuits rushed off to preach to the Algonquins. It was only upon being greeted by the peeling laughter of their would-be converts did the Jesuits realize that their translator had instead instructed them on Algonquin foul language.
However, the Relations also depict a very grim picture of life in the mid 17th century wilderness. Contrary to what another reviewer has written here- adoption was not guaranteed for anyone! Yes, mass adoption later become something the Iroquois practiced, but only after their numbers had been so badly dwindled in their wars of conquest in the 1650-1670's. Women, children, and the elderly could be hideously tortured to death as well as men. The movie, in fact, was edited to avoid showing the Indians practicing ritual cannibalism on that slain boy- a custom that was common among the tribes of Eastern woodlands. To devour an enemy's flesh was to devour his power.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the finest movies made that is histroicaly correct. And it was done without. Hollywood's input.Published 3 months ago by Michael Schmitzerle
A dark film about early French encounters with the indigenous people in the New World. Highlights the cultural differences. Read morePublished 4 months ago by HistoryNut
Sex, boobies, what? I got this to watch with my kids, thank heavens we previewed it. I was expecting some of the torture shots might be too much. Not expecting sex and boobs.Published 4 months ago by happy customer
Although this is a great movie, the one flaw for me was that this DVD was not closed caption for the hearing impaired, so I missed most of the dialogue in the movie. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Gary Toll
HAHAHA I can only imagine what kind of person you are if you rent this movie not directly for a school related assignmentPublished 7 months ago by Kitty Like
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