An Indian village is attacked by the American army. The Indians are cruelly killed. One of the soldiers called Harmonika is disgusted by the murders of the innocent women and children. He ... See full summary »
In the latter half of the 19th century, gold is discovered in the Black Hills, an area which has already been allocated to the Dakota Indians as a winter reservation in a treaty. ... See full summary »
At the beginning of the 19th century, white settlers regularly make and break treaties with the Native American inhabitants to gain possession of vast hunting grounds at ludicrously low ... See full summary »
After the Civil War, desperadoes led by a renegade named Rollins, following the settlers moving westward, try to drive a wedge in the friendship between the whites and the Indians. Apache ... See full summary »
'The Oilprince' is an unscrupulous businessman. He looks forward to a lucrative deal with the "Western Arizona Bank'. He sells the bank oil wells at Shelly Lake that do actually not exist. ... See full summary »
A drifter comes to town where his brother is sheriff. His brother is actually a robber who broke the real sheriff's leg and left him for dead, and became sheriff in order to hide out. They ... 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 ... See full summary »
Chingachgook, a Mohawk-born Delaware warrior, strives to rescue his wife Wahtawah from the clutches of an enemy camp of Huron. Joined by his trusted huntsman Deerslayer, the two confront racist pioneers and brutal British soldiers in their quest. Deerslayer catches the desire of Judith and thus the jealousy of her suitor, Harry. The action of the story functions like a seesaw, characters continuously traveling back and forth between a house on the lake and the Huron camp until the violent climax.
Richard Groschopp's last theatrically released film, Chingachgook, offers a fresh and entertaining look into a genre not familiar in the United States, an Indian adventure film with German actors and direction. Constructed in a manner very different to American films, it asserts a distinct foreign identity through an American locale. Its slow editing style allows the actors to perform in a large frame, emphasizing their movements like dance. Dance is an element of the film that is explored by the director. What appear as silly dances routines placed sporadically throughout the film are referential to the beautiful and precise choreography of fascist-era military parades and functions. This connection reveals Groschopp's ties to the propaganda films of Leni Riefenstahl, working early in his career as a cinematographer for the Olympia films of 1936. Due to Soviet occupation of East Germany at the time of the film's production, there are communist references apparent within the film as well. The Delaware and Huron communities are each portrayed as large, cohesive, units, shown in wide angle shots to reveal the magnitude of bodies, much like Vertov's and Eisenstein's work. A British attack on an Indian camp recalls images of the Odessa Steps scene from Battleship Potemkin(1925), an obvious reference to Soviet influence on the culture of East Germany.
Aesthetic beauty is important in the film. All of the well intending characters are physically attractive and are framed to reveal their sculpted and/ or shapely bodies. The personalities of the characters fall short of believable, however their interactions with one another are humorous due to their flatness. For example, Judith is attracted to Deerslayer's boyish good looks, and to show her attraction she trips in front of him and falls conveniently into his arms. The painfully stereotypical relationship these two characters have make the film worth watching in its own right, but the film has other merits. It is kinky melodrama with uber-German looking Indians fighting German speaking redcoats. The effect this film had on me (as a upstate New Yorker who grew up where the film takes place) was one that I encourage others to experience.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?