Ostern  

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This page Ostern is part of the western film series.   Illustration: Great Train Robbery (1903)
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This page Ostern is part of the western film series.
Illustration: Great Train Robbery (1903)

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Eastern-European-produced Westerns were popular in Communist Eastern European countries, and were a particular favorite of Joseph Stalin. "Red Western" or "Ostern" films usually portrayed the American Indians sympathetically, as oppressed people fighting for their rights, in contrast to American Westerns of the time, which frequently portrayed the Indians as villains. They frequently featured Gypsies or Turkic people in the role of the Indians, due to the shortage of authentic Indians in Eastern Europe.

Gojko Mitić portrayed righteous, kind hearted and charming Indian chiefs (Die Söhne der großen Bärin directed by Josef Mach). He became honorary chief of the tribe of Sioux when he visited the United States of America in the 1990s and the television crew accompanying him showed the tribe one of his films. American actor and singer Dean Reed, an expatriate who lived in East Germany, also starred in several films.

The Ostern genre developed in the Soviet Union as a home-grown counterpart to the American Western. Osterns are set in Central Asia or the Russian steppes during the post-revolutionary Russian Civil War. The historic setting of the Russian Civil War shared many of the iconic features of the Wild West: a romantic opposition of good and evil, a culture clash with occasionally hostile natives, horseback riding, trains, lawlessness, gunplay, and vast landscapes. The quintessential example of the Ostern is the cult film The White Sun of the Desert.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ostern" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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