Tuesday lectures by Jon Cates! Film Series : The Western: How It Was Never One



1973, Gottfried Kolditz, East Germany, 94 min. With Gojko Mitic, Milan Bili.

Show Times

  • Tue, Oct 9th 6:00pm

"An entertaining Western...There's a modern, violent feel to APACHES that can be clearly traced to the influence of the Spaghetti Westerns and Peckinpah." - Paul Mavis, DVD Talk

The Wild West meets the Wild East in this superior example of the Indianerfilme cycle that thrived in East Germany during the late 1960s and 1970s. Envious of the success that sauerkraut Westerns were enjoying in West Germany, the Communist government saw an opportunity to reap profits while also scoring propaganda points by portraying Indians as the heroes and greedy American capitalists as the villains. Based fairly closely on historical events that took place in Northern Mexico in 1837, APACHES draws the connection between genocide and profits with brutal directness when American mining interests lure a peaceful Apache tribe into a massacre by bounty hunters who are paid by the scalp ($100 for braves, $50 for squaws, $25 for children). The few survivors regroup under the leadership of the warrior Ulzana (played by imposing Yugoslavian actor Gojko Mitic, who was to the Indianerfilm what John Wayne was to the American Western). Though greatly outnumbered, the Apaches employ strategy and guerrilla tactics to engage the enemy amid impressive desert landscapes filmed in Uzbekistan. In German with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen courtesy of DEFA Film Library; special thanks to Hiltrud Schulz. (MR)

Please note: This trailer does not have English subtitles. Our screenings of the film will be subtitled in English.

Tuesday lecture by Jon Cates, Associate Professor of Film, Video, New Video and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

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