Florida, 1830 - Of all eastern Native American tribes, only the Seminoles have resisted being moved to reservations. Having retreated to Florida, they live a simple horticultural life. But ... See full summary »
Florida, 1830 - Of all eastern Native American tribes, only the Seminoles have resisted being moved to reservations. Having retreated to Florida, they live a simple horticultural life. But white plantation owners, angry at the increasing numbers of black slaves fleeing to Seminole protection, want to take their land. Plantation owner Raynes, in particular, has convinced the military to wipe out the Seminoles. His rival Moore, a sawmill owner from the North who has a Seminole wife, is against slavery and considers it unprofitable. Chief Osceola sees the coming danger; he tries to avoid provoking the whites, but cannot prevent the war that breaks out in 1835. Osceola was primarily filmed in Cuba and Bulgaria. Written by
DEFA Film Library
"Osceola" takes us to Florida 1835 when the white farmers want complete control of the land, so sending the Seminole Indians to a reservation far away is planned - which leads to warfare. Chief Osceola (Gojko Mitic) unintentionally reminds me of Tarzan a lot: his main job is to rescue anybody in trouble, for example from a crocodile when crossing the river. The political tasks are mostly for Moore (Iurie Darie), a farmer who looks into the future when machines will be used instead of slave labor. His rich rival Raynes (Horst Schulze) is presented as a merciless racist capitalist who treats the black slaves badly and the Indians worse, whereas Moore even married an Indian girl - an obvious chunk of ideology you have to expect in a production from behind the iron curtain. This movie was shot in Cuba by an East German team (who had few other communist countries with palm trees to choose from, I guess). Director Petzold had also directed Mitic' two previous westerns "Tödlicher Irrtum" and "Weisse Wölfe". "Osceola" is a bit slow sometimes, too much singing and talking in between the action sequences, but it is interesting for its historical background, rather different from the usual Prairie Indians. Somebody gets a credit for "scientific advice" in the titles to point out is was well researched...
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