Chingachgook, The Great Snake (1967)


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To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the DEFA (Deutsche Film-AG) Studio in East Germany, the Goethe-Institut New Zealand presents in its Winter Film Series at the Auckland Art Gallery a film programme highlighting different themes and genres that were important to the DEFA. 70 years onwards the films give a glimpse into the diversity of film production in East Germany and offer a rare insight into the life, thinking and being of people behind the wall.

Chingachgook, The Great Snake (Chingachgook – Die Groroße Schlange)

1740. French colonists and Hurons fight against English troops and their allies, the Delaware. Only Chingachgook (Gojko Mitic), a young Delaware, and his fair-skinned friend Deerslayer (Rolf Römer) realize that the colonizers intend to exterminate the Native Americans altogether.

Chingachgook's fiancée Wahtawah (Andrea Drahota), the daughter of the Delawarean chief, is kidnapped by the Huron tribe. Together with his friend Deerslayer, Chingachgook sets out to free her from her captors. As they approach the Huron camp, the scalp hunters Harry Hurry (Jürgen Frohriep) and Tom Hutter (Helmut Schreiber) cross their path. Chingachgook is taken captive by the Hurons. He tries in vain to convince them that the war between the whites is not the Indians' war. It's only when the Hurons are defeated in a fierce battle with English troops that the wounded Huron chief realizes that Chingachgook was right. He declares peace with all Native American tribes.

This adaptation of The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper was filmed in Bulgaria and in the Tatra Mountains of Slovakia.

Directed by Richard Groschopp, 1967, 91 mins. German with English subtitles


Auditorium, lower ground level