The Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI present
The Sons of Great Bear
An East German “sauerkraut” western directed by a Czech communist, with Serbian actor Gojko Mitić cast in the lead role as a Lakota resistance fighter betrayed by white settlers, this is the first of DEFA’s audaciously revisionist “red westerns”. With the mountains of Montenegro standing in for the Black Hills of South Dakota, Mach turns the cowboys-and-Indians trope on its head to critique the mythology of the West, expose the lie of Manifest Destiny and offer a coded indictment of Cold War-era American imperialism.
35mm print courtesy of DEFA-Filmverleih.
Also screening on Wed 13 December
Aferim! (2015) – Wed 6 Dec, 7pm
The Wind Blows Under Your Feet (1976) – Wed 6 Dec, 9.30pm
Western (2017) – Wed 13 Dec, 7pm
The Sons of Great Bear (1966) – Wed 13 Dec, 9.35pm
Nobody Wanted to Die (1965) – Wed 20 Dec, 7pm
Lemonade Joe (1964) – Wed 20 Dec, 9pm
It may come as a surprise, but that most quintessentially American genre, the western, was enormously popular behind the Iron Curtain. Of course, it was seldom possible for Eastern Bloc audiences to see Hollywood films. No matter; even though socialist states deemed the Hollywood western decadent in propagating foundational frontier myths, they took to the production of westerns with great relish...
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About Melbourne Cinémathèque
Australia's longest-running film society, Melbourne Cinémathèque screens significant works of international cinema in the medium they were created, the way they would have originally screened.
Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered, volunteer-run, not-for-profit and membership-driven.