Re: The Black Robe

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Posted by Eich on March 27, 1999 at 04:26:58:

In Reply to: The Black Robe posted by Eric Smith on March 25, 1999 at 16:55:24:

: I know this may be a silly question to ask in this venue, but has anyone out there seen "The Black Robe"? I think it is a totally excellent and extremely well-done movie.

Yes, I've seen it. We have a video copy at home. I'm not sure if it's a washed-out copy or what, but the color is so drab & dreary that right off the bat it gives me a depressing feeling!

: Although it received a lot of criticism at its release for its portrayal of Indians and Europeans, I thought the story and characters were much better than other filmes, i.e. "Dances with Wolves" (although I am a big fan of the Bison hunting scene).

The movie surely has strong points, and, in many ways, is very realistic. It lacks, I feel, power. It didn't evoke any real emotion from me, other than depression.

: I think the strength of LOTM and The Black Robe when it comes to the interaction between Europeans and Indians is in the impartiality of the films. We are sad for Chingachgook because he is the last of his people, not necessarily because his people are Indians. At the same time, LOTM shows no animosity toward the Hurons. They are just the guys to watch out for (because of their actions, not their identity). On the other hand, in Dances With Wolves, the Sioux are the nice good people who sit around and tell stories while the bad Pawnee and bad Americans are out killing people and ravaging the countryside. The prejudice in that movie ruins its story (IMHO).

Aahh ... here I really disagree ... I've made this point before ... "Dances With Wolves," in my opinion, portrays the LAKOTA very realistically. It is an ethno-centric film. In that sense, it reflects the American Indian tribes views, in that each tribe felt that they were the center of the world, or, "The People." From THEIR eyes, the Pawnee & Americans were the evil & savage enemy. Yet, within their tribe, there was laughter & courage & sensitivity. I thought this aspect of the movie was its strongest point!

: The Black Robe is written the same way, and two scenes come to mind (bear with me those of you who are unfamiliar with the film): The first is when the jesuit priest is trying to explain the advantages of going to Heaven, and the indians he is with laugh at him - the cultural context is incompatible and communication with understanding is impossible. The second is when the jesuit priest and his party are being tortured by Hurons, (I paraphrase here, sorry) "These Hurons are terrible people" a young Frenchman says, "No," the Iroquis chief answers, "if we had captured them, then we would be doing the same thing." The movie didn't take sides, it just told a story.

I think it's a good movie to see, as long as you have a Happy Pill to take immediately following!

: Anyway, bravo LOTM, and if you haven't seen "The Black Robe" go see it. It's very well done, and the scenery is magnificent.

Again, if you have an interest in the period before-hand, it's worth watching, but I don't think it's really the kind of film that's going to go over big with the general movie-going public.

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