“The Young Chief Winnetou” is a cute movie for kids – with a scary racist scene
It’s the Body of Crime: The Young Boss Winito Movie. A heated debate about racism and cultural appropriation erupted around the accompanying book. Although the bar is sweet, it is also worrisome.
Two young boys from different cultures and traditions meet. At first they hate each other, take an adventure or two together and end up becoming blood brothers. What sounds like a beautiful children’s movie with a cute message is very much true. Lola playing on tribal clichés.
And an elemental scene.
Winito, the young chief’s son and his new ally, Tom Silver, sets out to find a buffalo that can ensure the tribe’s survival. While the steppe boys are riding one behind the other, the blond boy is sweating a lot. Hair sticks to his head. He turned to Winito, who seemed unaffected by the heat, and asked, “Are the Indians really sweating?”
Aside from the fact that this question is insurmountable in terms of stupidity from a scientific point of view – what is it supposed to achieve? Describe the tribes as foreigners who do not know the race? What image does this convey to the young audience?
And this is the crux of the matter: what we adults show to our children and young children, what we read to them and what we live by example will shape them. And then many of them will pass it on to their offspring. vicious circle. For this reason, it is important that those working in the cultural field realize their responsibility, especially those who focus on children’s films and literature. Unfortunately, the makers of “The Young Chief Winnetou” didn’t do it well enough.
“Young Leader Winito” – follows the next one cliché
In addition to the described scene, the film is peppered with clichés from Aboriginal traditions. Tribesmen with painted faces and colorful costumes salute Hugh, a wise old woman who can see the future and Winito can summon horses by hammering stones.
The makers missed at least an opportunity to show the reality and future of the indigenous population. Neji Nita, a tribesman who has colluded with villains to obtain weapons. This is the only way that they, the indigenous people, will be able to withstand the advance of the settlers. The young man (played by Tim Oliver Schultz) hits exactly where it hurts: white settlers are decimating peoples on the American continents, also through the use of force. These historical facts could have been incorporated into the credits or in the form of an explanatory panel immediately after the fictional plot. It must.
To be clear: Winito, young or old, shouldn’t be banished forever. On the contrary, take this heroic saga to acquaint yourselves with the history of the indigenous tribes and let them flow into fictional material. The books can be supplemented with an additional chapter on the true story of the characters.
The young moviegoers sure had fun and one of them was interested in the stories of the indigenous tribes. It is up to us adults to bring them closer to the world beyond imagination. Suitable for children, but honest and informative.