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Grant number: TW-50242-12

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Women Make Movies, Inc. (New York, NY 10001-5059)
Riva Freifeld (Project Director: July 2011 to present)

Buffalo Bill and the Influence of the American West on European Culture

Development of a 90-minute documentary about Europe's fascination with the American West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

When Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West show toured Europe, three times in 1887, 1890, and 1903, millions of Europeans flocked to outdoor arenas to see lavish re-enactments of famous Western exploits. As the real West was fading into history and before the arrival of the Western movie, the Wild West show enthralled audiences with its portrait of a black-and-white world of heroes and villains. The American West was more than a place. It was a concept, and anyone could participate. From the streets of London, to the salons of Paris, to the cafes of Berlin, to the film sets of Italy, the West became a backdrop for Europe's own myths, desires and sensibilities. The stories were intrinsically American, but the genre itself, the Western, was appropriated first by Europe and then by the rest of the world. The West began to define for most of the world the paradox that was America: a land where freedom and equality could be attained but also a land of violence, murder and anarchy.

Project fields:
European History

Bridging Cultures through Film

Public Programs

Total amounts:
$59,823 (approved)
$59,823 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2012 – 11/30/2012