We use cookies to improve our service for you. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. German television is releasing an updated version of the classic Wild West film. Many in Germany will recognize this photo.

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We use cookies to improve our service for you. You can find more information in our data protection declaration. German television is releasing an updated version of the classic Wild West film. Many in Germany will recognize this photo. Generations of young Germans have devoured the Winnetou novels, in which German engineer Karl and the Apache chief Winnetou go from archenemies to blood brothers.

The stories are more of a modern fairytale than about the lives of Native Americans. For over 50 years, French actor Pierre Brice, who passed away in , was the face of Winnetou. He not only played the Apache chief in the successful films made in the s, but also on German stages. It was the role of his life. Will a new actor be able to win over German audiences like Pierre Brice did? The new Winnetou actor Nik Xhelilaj has at least two things in common with Pierre Brice: good looks and the fact that neither actor had heard of Winnetou when they were offered the role.

As Winnetou's blood brother, Old Shatterhand is accepted into the Apache tribe. In the original series he was played by American actor Lex Barker , also known for his performance as Tarzan.

Old Shatterhand's real name is Karl. Once an engineer in Germany, he earned his nickname thanks to his powerful right hook, which will throw any opponent to the ground. The Winnetou story was the creation of author Karl May. Old Shatterhand narrates the stories, in which he dreams himself out of his dismal reality, serving a prison sentence for fraud. Karl May only knew the Wild West from books, and his first Winnetou story was published in Nscho-tschi is Winnetou's sister.

In the new film, she is the Apache's self-confident shaman. After Old Shatterhand is wounded and imprisoned by the Apaches, Nscho-tschi nurses to health.

The new film develops their romance a bit more than in the books and the old film. Intschu-tschuna is Winnetou's and Nscho-tischi's father. The German-Serbian actor Gojko Mitic appeared in bit parts in the s films.

At that time, his first name was adapted into German as Georg. Mitic also played the equivalent to Winnetou - the Indian chief - in similar films produced in East Germany. Of course a film like this also needs a bad guy. Mario Adorf played the bandit Santer in the old version and makes a reappearance in the new one over 50 years later.

Every child in Germany knows him as the murderer of Winnetou's sister in the book, he also assassinates their father. Adorf is best known for his performance in the Oscar-winning film "The Tin Drum" of In the book, the nasty drinker murders Klekih Petra, a white man who lives with the Apaches, and is sentenced to death. The execution was a memorable moment for everyone who listened to the s audio version.

The new film spares the Christmas viewers the scene - and gives the bad guy a first name for the first time: Joseph.

His favorite expression is: "If I'm not mistaken…" But he often is mistaken, which provides plenty of comical moments. Like Old Shatterhand, Hawkens comes from Saxony and wears a wig because he was once scalped. Blood brothers brushing their teeth together?

This scene wouldn't have made it into Karl May's books, but it did into the parody "Schuh des Manitu" Manitou's Shoe. The comedy was made by and starred Michael "Bully" Herbig, who poked fun at the Winnetou myth.

It became one of Germany's most popular films and is definitely worth watching. Created by author Karl May, they were portrayed in a series of classic films made in the s. Now private German broadcaster RTL has remade the story in a three-part, million-euro mini-series. Just like in the early films, the new ones freely interpret the books and their characters - so freely that the producers even got into a legal row with publisher. For a while, it looked like the new films wouldn't even be able to use the Winnetou name.

The Bamberg-based publisher was also collaborating on another Karl May film project. In the end, the filmmakers won the rights to use the Winnetou name. El Mas Loco is a new imaginary character that didn't exist in the books.

The modern new edition aims to draw in a younger audience while not losing old fans. Whether that will work remains to be seen. How convincing will Albanian actor Nik Xhelilaj be as the new Winnetou? DW has spoken to him about his role, and also about refugees streaming into Germany from his native Albania.

A new report questions the story of the scalp's acquisition that its co-founder wrote. Pierce Brice, the French actor who fascinated German fans of Western films in his role as Apache chief "Winnetou" has died. He was the hero of 11 films based on German author Karl May's tales of America's colonization. The German director, who was born 75 years ago, was extremely prolific despite his destructive lifestyle.

A Fassbinder expert tells DW about how his genius was first recognized abroad. It's Pippi Longstocking's birthday. Why does everyone admire the strongest, bravest and most independent girl in the world? A children's book classic has the answers. More than 40, Germans participate in "Indian hobbyism" — reductive reenactments of Native life in the past.

This form of appropriation is excused as well-meaning affection as Native voices are systematically silenced. The Cannes Film Festival was cancelled because of COVID, but has nevertheless awarded its seal of approval to 56 films, which will premiere at other festivals. The Beethoven anniversary year mobilizes artists worldwide not only for music, but also for climate protection.

On June 5, the program for the "Pastoral Project" will be streamed live from Bonn. Small, long-established family businesses are struggling to survive — and even global giant Cirque du Soleil is suffering. It might be difficult for some people, especially children, to understand why we all of a sudden have to isolate. A look at some of the online content that can help explain why it's key. The bicycle is the most environmentally friendly and healthiest form of transportation, and not just on the European Bicycle Day, which was launched in to protest the growing volume of traffic.

More info OK. Wrong language? Change it here DW. COM has chosen English as your language setting. COM in 30 languages. Deutsche Welle.

Audiotrainer Deutschtrainer Die Bienenretter. Christmas release for the Winnetou mini-series In the end, the filmmakers won the rights to use the Winnetou name. Winnetou for new and old fans?

Click through the gallery above to meet the key figures in the story. Date Related content. Digital Culture. More culture Film.


The characters in Karl May's famous 'Winnetou' series

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Winnetou is a fictional Native American hero of several novels written in German by Karl May — , one of the best-selling German writers of all time with about million copies worldwide, including the Winnetou -trilogy. The character made his debut in the novel Old Firehand According to Karl May's story, first-person narrator Old Shatterhand encounters the Apache Winnetou, and after initial dramatic events, a true friendship arises between them; on many occasions, they give proof of great fighting skill, but also of compassion for other human beings. It portrays a belief in an innate "goodness" of mankind, albeit constantly threatened by ill-intentioned enemies. Nondogmatic Christian feelings and values play an important role, and May's heroes are often described as German Americans.

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