Thursday, September 10, 2009

"Year of" movie TODAY at the Funk Heritage Center

Today at 2 pm in the theatre at the Funk Heritage Center, the Year of North American Indigenous Peoples will present the 1991 film Black Robe by director Bruce Beresford, based on the book by Brian Moore.

Black Robe takes place in 1634, in what is now Quebec. In the tiny French settlement that will eventually become Quebec City, a Jesuit missionary named Father Laforgue hires a group of Algonquins to take him and his helper, Daniel, up the St. Lawrence River. Laforgue hopes to reestablish contact with a Catholic mission that was established in a Huron village.

On the way, Daniel, who had expressed a desire to join the priesthood, falls in love with the daughter of one of the Algonquin guides, while some of the other men become suspicious of Laforgue, taking him for a sorcerer. The mission takes a tragic turn when a band of Iroquois attack the group.

Black Robe has been called "one of the most meticulously researched representations of indigenous life ever put on film." The movie has won several awards, including the 1992 Genie awards (the Canadian equivalent of the Oscars) for Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for August Shellenberg, who played Chomina.

This movie is free and open to the public. Library director and "Year Of" chair Michael Martinez will be leading a discussion before and after the film. If you're thinking of entering this month's contest for a free t-shirt and flash drive, not to mention the year-end drawing for the Wii, this is a great opportunity for you. Come see the film and then submit a one- or two-paragraph review to Karen Preslock at

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