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Black Robe (1991)

In the 17th century, a Jesuit missionary nicknamed Black Robe by the natives and his small party of companions try reaching the Huron tribe in Canada all while facing mistrust, Iroquois warring parties and harsh winter conditions.

Director:

Bruce Beresford

Writers:

Brian Moore (screenplay), Brian Moore (novel)
Reviews
10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lothaire Bluteau ... Laforgue
Aden Young ... Daniel
Sandrine Holt ... Annuka
August Schellenberg ... Chomina
Tantoo Cardinal ... Chomina's Wife
Billy Two Rivers Billy Two Rivers ... Ougebmat
Lawrence Bayne ... Neehatin
Harrison Liu Harrison Liu ... Awondoie
Wesley Côté Wesley Côté ... Oujita
Frank Wilson ... Father Jerome
François Tassé ... Father Bourque
Jean Brousseau ... Champlain
Yvan Labelle Yvan Labelle ... Mestigoit
Raoul Max Trujillo ... Kiotseaton (as Raoul Trujillo)
James Bobbish James Bobbish ... Ondesson
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Storyline

In the 17th century a Jesuit priest nicknamed Black Robe by the natives and his young companion are escorted through the wilderness of Quebec by a family of Algonquin Indians to find a distant mission in the dead of winter. Underneath the imposing and magnificent mountains, the Jesuit experiences a spiritual journey while his young companion falls in love with their Algonquin guide's beautiful daughter. Dread and death follows them upriver, however, as they face an Iroquois war party. Based on historical fiction novel. Written by Keith Loh <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for areas of strong violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | Australia | USA

Language:

Cree | English | Mohawk | Algonquin | Latin

Release Date:

4 October 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Manto negro See more »

Filming Locations:

Lac Saint-Jean, Québec, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$8,211,952

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$8,211,952
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The ferocity of the torture scenes prompted accusations of racism from Native Americans. Prominent among the critics was Ward Churchill, who wrote an article that was heavily critical of the film. However, Brian Moore, who had done extensive research on the subject, had actually toned down the documented violence for both his book and his screenplay. See more »

Goofs

When Mestigoit the Sorcerer meets Laforgue, Laforgue is reading the Breviary (daily prayer of a priest). The page is clearly at DOMINICA V POST PASCHA, the fifth Sunday of Easter which falls between 3rd May and 6th June. Yet the action is supposed to be taking place in the autumn-winter of 1634. See more »

Quotes

ending statement: Fifteen years later, the Hurons, having accepted Christianity, were routed and killed by their enemies, the Iroquois.
ending statement: The Jesuit mission to the Hurons was abandoned and the Jesuits returned to Quebec.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Lonely Passion of Brian Moore (1986) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A beautiful but gut wrenching film
15 September 1999 | by baumerSee all my reviews

I have to applaud Bruce Beresford. After his huge success with Driving Miss Daisy, I believe he could have had his choice to direct any film that he wanted to. To take on a small Canadian/Australian film is not only inspiring but it shows that this must be personal to him in some way. And it shows here as well. His direction shows that he cares for the subject and the people and the landscape. Everything is precise and pristine and immaculate. I am not a huge historian when it comes to colonization in Canada, and that is a shame, perhaps I should be. After all, my elementary school history teacher once told me that there are two things that are given to you when you are born, one is your name and the other is your nationality. Be proud of both. And it is subjects and films like this that he would have been proud of and so am I. Although you can get just as much out of this if you are American, there is just a little more substance to it if you are Canadian. After all, these were jesuits and these are the Iroquois and the Hurons and this is snowy, fridgid Quebec in the winter. These are all very Canadian and it is a film that tries to shed some light on how our country became what it is today. It is films like this that remind us as Canadians that we do have a history. And as silly as that may sound, it is an important statement. Go up to the average Canadian, any Canadian, young or old and ask them to name all the capitals of our 10 provinces and now 3 territories and I'll bet 6 times out of ten that they can't do it. Ask them if the Baffin Islands are a part of Canada or ask them where the Strait of Juan De Fuca is and they won't know. I am not in that category, I know my fair bit about my country, but I am unfortunately one that does not enough about things like Samuel De Champlain and what party Sir Wilfred Laurier was a part of and I certainly don't know much about subjects that Black Robe deals with. And even though it sounds like this film is good and important only because it teaches us about our history, that is not true. It is an interesting film but it is also very well made. I was intriuged and my eyes were wide open during this film. The acting and the direction and of course the photography was superb. But as much as this film was a good cinematic experience, I have to say that all Canadians should see it for it's historical importance. It is a part of history and it is something that should intrigue us all. I am very proud to say that this is at least partly funded, produced and distributed by Canadians and it is something that all of us should see at least once. It is a good film and it will teach us a great deal about out own country, and that is something that all of us need.


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