"How quickly they forget": American Indians in European film, 1962--1976

Date of Completion

January 2008


Literature, Comparative|Native American Studies|Cinema




This study will examine representations of American Indians in Cold War German and Italian cinema. While the widely read works of Karl May provided literary models, it was through the medium of film that European screenwriters and directors furthered a fantastic relationship to Native American people. This dissertation will examine in particular how the cinematic presence of American Indians in German and Italian films during the Cold War period represented the differing needs of many of the European people who had recently suffered defeat at the hands of the American-led Allies. In the end, Europe's post-war turn to the left failed to provide a viable counter-narrative to a legacy of 19th-century exoticism. ^