Blue bird

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Original title Blue bird
Country of production GDR
original language German
Publishing year 1979
length 97 minutes
Age rating FSK without age restriction
Director Ulrich White
script Ulrich White
music Peter Rabenalt
camera Otto Hanisch
cut Helga Krause

The children's film Blauvogel is a DEFA Indian film from 1979. It was based on the novel of the same name by Anna Jürgen , from which it differs greatly in content. The alternative title is The Blue Bird .



The Ruster family came to a British colony in North America in 1755. The family is poor and should have lived in bondage in England. But in North America they can build their own existence as farmers. Although there is war between the British and the French, the pioneers do not let that stop them. 9-year-old George is thrilled when his father shows him the wealth of nature. At the largest tree in the country they bought, his father explains to him that they are now in paradise. The family begins to cut the trees and clear the land.


1. Sequence
One day George is attacked by Indians and kidnapped. They bring him to their village. Since an Indian child has died, George is accepted in his place in the tribe and from then on bears his name Blue Bird. George is not at all enthusiastic about it and tries to escape at the next opportunity. But he is caught again. When he realizes that there is no point in escaping, he begins to study the rites and customs of the Iroquois .

2nd sequence
When the Iroquois go to war with the French, for example, against the English, each warrior can decide for himself whether he or she goes to war. Over time, George understood more and more about the rituals of the Indians and eventually became part of the tribe. When Blauvogel shoots a bear in winter and frees the tribe from hunger, he is accepted as a man in the tribe.

3. Sequence
One day a group of English soldiers comes to the Iroquois village. They open fire on them and shoot unarmed Indians. This experience characterizes Blauvogel and he can never forget it. The tribal elder sums up the situation of the Indians at the subsequent memorial service. The English and the French are like two blades of scissors. They seem to collide, but they just rub. But the Indians are between the blades and are being cut up.

4th sequence
7 years after Blauvogel was kidnapped, the war is over. The English have won and are demanding all the hostages back from the war. Therefore, as a young man, Blauvogel has to leave the tribe. So he comes back to his old family. The family has become wealthy and has black workers on their land. The whole country has been cleared. There is only one tree left on the land, the tree on which his father told him that they are now in paradise.


Blauvogel has become completely alien to white society. And he doesn't feel comfortable there. After his return, his father tells him that the land will now belong to them, the whites, after he, Georg, has cut the last tree himself. The father hands him an ax with which he is supposed to cut down the last tree as a symbol, but Blauvogel refuses to do so and leaves the farm to rejoin the Indians.



The narrative style of the film is calm and deliberate. The story is told in impressive, elaborate images, with the camera sometimes changing from the observing position to the view of the main character Blauvogel, so that one sees the events with his eyes.


The main character Blauvogel is portrayed in a believable manner: a ten-year-old boy who comes from his familiar surroundings in England to a foreign country where everything is different from what he knew it to be. When he is kidnapped by the Indians, he logically clings to the only thing that was still familiar to him: his family. Torn between two cultures, he finally finds his way as a mature young man.

The Indians are depicted realistically. The way it is presented differs from that used in Hollywood films up to the 1960s. Much of the film focuses on portraying the rites and customs of the Iroquois.


The content of the film differs considerably from the original book , which historically begins against the background of the invasion of General Braddock and the devastating defeat of the British-American army on July 9, 1755 at Monongahela . The film is only very roughly based on the general plot of the book.

In 1994, Anna Juergens' novel was turned into a German-Canadian, thirteen-part television series of the same title. The screenplay was written by Christos Yiannopoulos and directed by Jeff Authors.


“The fate of an in North America in the 18th century British settler boy who had grown up and who was abducted by the Iroquois and who grew up among them as an adopted child. Faithful film adaptation of a socialist children's book classic: Deeply humanistic in its disposition "

“The film Blauvogel differs considerably from the Indian films of previous years. He almost completely dispenses with the popular, common clichés and standards of this type of film, instead delivering a lot of ethnographic, historically exact, socially justified. "

- film mirror 1/80


In 1980 the film won the UNICEF Prize at the 18th International Festival for Children and Youth Films in Gijón.

Individual evidence

  1. Blue Bird. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 

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