Berlinale: Programme


Film file

Retrospective

Redskin

Rothaut. Der Todeskampf einer Rasse

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With the threat of the cavalry looming, young Navajo Wing Foot leaves his tribe for prep school. Humiliated and saddled with the telling nickname “The Whipped”, it is only his skill as a runner that enables him to go on to college, where his life, however, is hardly less hellish. When his only friend, Corn Blossom, also at boarding school, leaves to rejoin her Pueblo tribe, Wing Foot decides to go home too. But he is now no less an outcast among his own people than he was among the white men. When he turns to Corn Blossom for succour, the Pueblo, who are on a war footing with the Navajo, want him dead. Wing Foot flees and, as he wanders the plains, stumbles across oil, which puts him in the crosshairs of white prospectors … Despite its now highly politically incorrect title, the film, which was shot on location, presents an authentic picture of Native American life. Colourful images of sand paintings and intricate weaving shot with the Technicolor two-colour system help bring the scenes in the Indian villages alive, while (because the filmmakers ran out of money) the boarding school scenes were shot in black-and-white, rendering the white man’s world drab and joyless.

USA 1929, 83 min

by

Victor Schertzinger

with

Richard Dix
Gladis Belmont
Jane Novak