Comments on Raymond H's 2 Samuel 6:14

Black Robe is often thought of as the Canadian Dances with Wolves, but is the comparison apt? Raymond investigates.

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Bill at 23:43 on 2018-05-09
I haven't seen either movie, but I have read the Brian Moore novel Black Robe is based on. Any thoughts on book/movie similarities/differences?
Raymond H at 08:50 on 2018-05-10
Alas, just as you have not seen the movie, so too have I not read the book. Judging from the Wikipedia article though, it seems as though LaForgue in the book baptizes the Huron because they believe it will cure them of the plague, something LaForgue in the movie pointedly refuses to do. LaForgue in the film desires converts, but he refuses to obtain them under false pretenses, in contrast to the other priest at the mission, who sees little point in actually teaching the Huron Christianity so long as he fulfills his baptism quota.
Robinson L at 20:15 on 2018-06-26
Never seen either Dances with Wolves or Black Robe, and probably never will. Even in contemporary times, I don't trust most non-Indigenous people, especially white people, to portray Indigenous peoples' with cultural and historical accuracy, even if they're well-intentioned and going for nuanced depictions - in the 1990s, even less so. There's just too much settler-colonial mythology out there.

Speaking of which, I have seen Reel Injun, and it is indeed, a great watch, although some parts are deeply uncomfortable to sit through as a white person - particularly the "Sioux summer camp." (Then again, I'm sure it's a lot more uncomfortable to sit through most depictions of Indigenous people in US films and TV as an Indigenous person - that's kind of the point of the movie.) Some day, I really need to set aside ~3 hours and check out Atanarjuat.
Raymond H at 12:03 on 2018-06-27
That's fair, heheh. Honestly, the reason I chose to watch Black Robe first was because
1) After reading Arthur's article on Three Hearts and Three Lions, I became fascinated with the idea of writing a fantasy world that operates under the principle of the Abrahamic faiths being objectively correct, and exploring that. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have spread a multitude of ways, ranging from the violent to the peaceful, and the manner in which these faiths not simply override, but in some cases adapt to new cultures and environments is a particular point of interest for me.
2) After my experience with Malian media, I knew that after enjoying media without even a hint of White people in them, anything where colonialism or White people played a central role simply wouldn't interest me anymore. Seriously, there's so much amazing history and stories that came before the Western empires, but I feel like people either don't know it or bastardize it to suit their own ends. And yes, in a way myth and history have always been bastardized to suit people's own whims and agendas. The Aeneid, History of the Kings of Britain, and The Prose Edda are all meant to show how Country X was founded by a survivor of the Trojan War and is thus the true heir to the legacy of ancient Greece, but it's so cool to know that other cultures and people have done the exact same thing. Like, instead of the Trojan War, West African rulers trace their lineage to Bilal, as a way of showing how they've got that special sauce that makes them an epic king. And David Kalakaua explicitly ties the Hawaiian "natives" to the original tribes of Israel, even as he subtly pokes fun at the idea of a native people on an island that bubbled up from the ocean and was repeatedly invaded and colonized by a new tribe every couple centuries. I've only just started exploring northeast Native American myths, but already what I've found is so cool! Like, I still remember being a kid in a small, rural, American town, and having no idea about the larger world. But then through stories I was able to see just how HUGE everything is. Ah, geez, I've gotten to rambling. Sorry. But seriously, if you can find a copy of Keita: Heritage of a Griot with english subs that I can get in Japan without paying exorbitant shipping prices, I will love you forever.

Ah, cripes, I remember that scene too, haha! And I remember, when they said "Oh yes, and this counselor is from Austria", just going "YEP! That...doesn't surprise me in the least!" It's like finding out that a hotep has a white-woman fetish, or a neo-nazi has an asian-woman fetish. It seems like it wouldn't make any sense, and yet it does, somehow...
In all seriousness though, I think what struck me most about that scene was how Neil Diamond doesn't actually tell us how to feel. Like, I felt uncomfortable, but Diamond never looked at the camera and said "You should totally feel uncomfortable right now". He just let the scene speak for itself, and somehow that made me feel even more uncomfortable than if he'd told me to do so.
If you do see Atanarjuat, let me know what you think. I'm interested in seeing it to, but haven't had a chance to watch it.
Robinson L at 18:00 on 2018-06-28
Seriously, there's so much amazing history and stories that came before the Western empires, but I feel like people either don't know it or bastardize it to suit their own ends.

I know, right? With very, very rare exceptions, Western media, and even a lot of scholarship, when they bother to acknowledge the rest of the world at all, feel like looking at human history, and the present for that matter, through a keyhole.

He just let the scene speak for itself, and somehow that made me feel even more uncomfortable than if he'd told me to do so.

Yeah, in the context of what he's already showed us by that point, playing that scene out on its own terms is more eloquent than any commentary he can provide.

I do have the intention to check out Atanarjuat sometime, but that could easily wind up being several years down the line.
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