Ojibwe playwriter, author & filmmaker Drew Hayden Taylor is visiting Germany again, filming for his upcoming documentary on the continuing Winnetou phenomenon, stereotyping…and playing of “Native” by Germans and other Europeans. I was interviewed for a segment in the eventual production, on why I’m in Germany and also making a film, but mine is more on why it’s time to Forget Winnetou, due to the German societal issues of racism, neo-colonialism and stereotyping directly contributing to strife and intercultural turmoil. Afterwards, we walked to a local café and had casual conversation and coffee with the crew.
Drew’s bio: Taylor is a prolific author and playwright with over 27 published books and numerous writing awards to his credit. He was born and raised on the Curve Lake First Nation in Ontario Canada and still lives there. Learn more about his current trip here.
The new trailer for “Forget Winnetou!” is here. Deutsch version here. This is the longer, explanatory trailer, but we will do a short teaser (50-59s), too. Thank you to all the participants and constructive feedback, and we look forward to sharing the finished documentary with everyone in December!
Intro: “What does a world look like that respects indigenous peoples, that’s working to end racism, colonialism and intersecting oppression on a global scale? A part of that is stopping stereotyping, and Native stereotypes are some of the most pervasive and recognized, but most don’t know their origins or the real harm they do.”
Coming December 2017, “Forget Winnetou! Going Beyond Native Stereotypes in Germany”. Directed & Produced by Red Haircrow, Associate Producer Timo Kiesel. Learn more at https://forgetwinnetou.com/ and http://forgetwinnetou.de/.
Kendall Old Elk and family
“Deep Haze” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)-Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
Flying With Red Haircrow Productions
Pleased to announce our Forget Winnetou- A Documentary Film trailer has been selected for screening at Avanca Film Festival, 26-30 July 2017!
To view our first official trailer, you can do so here.
“What does a world that respects Indigenous peoples look like, that’s working towards ending racism, colonialism, and other intersecting oppression on a global scale?” -Andrea Marcos
Most films about Native Americans focus exclusively on Native experience in North America, however stereotypes of the original peoples of Turtle Island have spread around the world even as more Natives are living or working abroad. And Germany has one of the most notorious and beloved, sometimes fiercely defended symbol named “Winnetou”, a stereotypical American Indian created by German author Karl May in the late 19th century.
Decades later, despite its inherent racism and colonial nature, the heavily Eurocentrized fictional native and his pseudo Apache tribe are still recreated in films spreading misinformation to new generations, reinforcing white privileged and supremacist systems and attitudes. Although surely not the intention, it is still culturally abusive practice that deliberately ignore Natives and others who object, and minimizes and/or dismisses multiple research studies on the harm of such behaviors to everyone in society. This must end.
“Just because it’s fiction, doesn’t mean it’s harmless.”
“Reeducating the resistant.”
Recent promotional interviews:
On June 2nd, I’ll give a presentation at the “Indigenous Popular Culture Conference” at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany. The conference is titled; “A Long Time Ago on a Reservation Far, Far Away: Contemporary Indigenous Popular Culture across the Globe.”
MY ABSTRACT: “While many people express growing boredom with Hollywood and other western film studios producing sub-standard, unoriginal movies or rebooting television series or films of the past, the Native indie film industry is booming. Despite the low ebb of unique productions to which even Hollywood admits, scripts by people of color, including Natives, continue to be rejected and ignored primarily because they don’t fit the stereotypical material usually churned out about them by others.
Thus, more Native filmmakers today than ever before are writing, filming and sharing their own work, by Natives for everyone, representing and presenting themselves and their stories, whether fiction or non-fiction. More Native artists and filmmakers are collaborating and coming together in events, such as the Indigenous Comic-Con whose inaugural celebration took place in November 2016, to encourage and promote each other. It is also open to the public, and all are welcome.
Discussion will include why films about Natives made by Natives so important; what the issues and benefits are both for Native individuals, nations and communities, and non-Natives; and the intersectionality of native films with social justice, activism and sovereignty. Material will include visual examples of contemporary native films, filmmakers, production companies and organizations, such as A Tribe Called Geek that report on, encourage and promote contemporary artists and filmmakers.”
More details about the event, here.