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Raoul Trujillo as Kiotseaton in Black Robe
Raoul Trujillo as Kiotseaton in Black Robe
Raoul Trujillo as Kiotseaton in Black Robe

Film Review: Black Robe (1991)

Plot Summary:

In the 17th century a Jesuit priest and a young companion are escorted through the wilderness of Quebec by Algonquin Indians to find a distant mission in the dead of winter.
The Jesuit experiences a spiritual journey while his young companion falls in love with the Algonquin chief's beautiful daughter underneath the imposing and magnificent mountains. Dread and death follows them upriver.

Empire Magazine #40, 1992

Set in Quebec in 1643, this crosses Dances with Wolves with Aguirre Wrath of God, with a dash of The Heart of Darkness thrown in for good measure.
Lothaire Bluteau, following up his Jesus of Montreal martyr, is a Jesuit priest on a mission to convert some especially violent native Canadians, completely turning around audience sympathies as the unbending fanatic comes to understand the nature of evil and yet still cannot prevent himself from perpetuating it.
The final stretch, as Bluteau demonstrates his true strength under torture, is shattering, delivering a powerful intellectual and emotional punch.
©Empire, 1992

Film Review Special #4, 1993

Idealistic Jesuit priest Father Laforgue takes a traumatic canoe trip into Quebec's Huron territory to 'reap souls' among the Red Indians.
The journey becomes a test of faith as he suffers mental and physical privation, torture and temptation.
Beautifully photographed, lyrical and brutal, Black Robe is a haunting elegy to all cultures wrecked by Western arrogance and religious intolerance.
© Film Review, 1993