Ostern

The Ostern (Eastern) or Red Western was the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain countries' take on the Western movie.

It generally took two forms:

  1. Proper Red Westerns, set in America's 'Wild West', such as Czechoslovakia's Lemonade Joe (Limonadovy Joe, 1964), or the East-German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) or The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, Romania, 1981) involving radically different themes and genres. These were much more common in Eastern Europe, rather than the USSR itself.
  2. Easterns (Osterns), which took place usually on the steppes or Asian parts of the USSR, especially during the Russian Revolution or following Civil War. Examples of these include The Burning Miles (Ognennie Versti/Огненные вёрсты, 1957), The Bodyguard (Telokhranitel/Телохранитель, 1979), At Home among Strangers (1971), and famous Soviet film White Sun of the Desert (Beloye Solntse Pustynt/Белое солнце пустыни', 1970). While some of these are obviously influenced by Westerns, in some cases, the material can be seen as a parallel formation.

Naturally many of these contained political messages, but they can still be watched impartially as action films, comedies etc, and it is certainly true to say that American director John Ford imbued his films with controversial political messages too.

'Red Westerns' in an international context

'Red Westerns' of the first type are often compared to 'Spaghetti Westerns' (although technically these are 'Paella Westerns' being shot in Spain, rather than Italy), in that they use local scenery to double up for the American West. In particular, Yugoslavia, Mongolia and the Southern USSR were used.

'Red Westerns' provide a counterpoint to familiar mythologies and conventions of the original genre, particularly as the makers were on the other side of a propaganda war without parallel, the Cold War, and this is partially why many have never been shown in the west, at least not until after the Cold War ended. In a war in which many fabrications were made on both sides, there was often a lingering fascination with the cultural developments in enemy countries.

Westerns have proven particularly transferrable in the way that they create a mythology out of relatively recent history, a malleable idea that translates well to different cultures. In Russia, the Ostern uses the generic calling cards of the American Western to dramatise the civil war in Central Asia in the 1920s and 30s, in which the Red Army fought to maintain their country against Islamic Turkic 'Basmachi' rebels. By substituting, 'red' for 'blue' and 'Turk' for Mexican, there are the same opportunities for a sweeping drama played out against a backdrop of wide-open spaces. The Ural Mountains can be equivalent to Monument Valley, the Volga river for the Rio Grande. Add the gun slinging ethos, horse riding, working the land, pioneers of a sort (ideological often in this case!), the bounty hunter traversing difficult terrain with outlaw in tow, railroading and taming the wild frontier and you have a generic mirror image of the American genre.

Red Westerns which use the actual American west as a setting include, the Romanian The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, 1981) which dramatises the struggles of Romanian and Hungarian settlers in a new land. The Czech Lemonade Joe and the Soviet A Man from the Boulevard des Capuchines plump for pastiche or satire, making fun of the hard worn conventions of the American films. The German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) turned the traditional American "Cowboy and Indian" conventions on their head, casting the Native Americans as the heroes and the American Army as the villains, with some obvious Cold War overtones... it started a series of "Indian films" by the East German DEFA studios which were quite successful.

Interestingly, many of the non-Soviet examples of the genre were international co-productions akin to the Spaghetti Westerns. The Sons of the Great Mother Bear for example was a co-production between East Germany and Czechoslovakia, starring a Yugoslav, scripted in German, and shot in a number of different Eastern Bloc countries and used a variety of locations including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Mongolia and Czechoslovakia. The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians was a Romanian film, but featured emigrant Hungarians heavily in the storyline.


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The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians was a Romanian film, but featured emigrant Hungarians heavily in the storyline. Many other schools, however, have taken a more moderate approach, allowing dodgeball by using soft foam balls instead of harder rubber balls. The Sons of the Great Mother Bear for example was a co-production between East Germany and Czechoslovakia, starring a Yugoslav, scripted in German, and shot in a number of different Eastern Bloc countries and used a variety of locations including Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Mongolia and Czechoslovakia. New York followed suit shortly after. Interestingly, many of the non-Soviet examples of the genre were international co-productions akin to the Spaghetti Westerns. On November 18, 2002, the state of New Jersey banned the game from public schools. it started a series of "Indian films" by the East German DEFA studios which were quite successful. After a series of publicized dodgeball injuries in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many schools have removed the game from their physical-education requirements, and some have even banned the game entirely.

The German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) turned the traditional American "Cowboy and Indian" conventions on their head, casting the Native Americans as the heroes and the American Army as the villains, with some obvious Cold War overtones.. In some cases, the rule may be used that a player hit above the shoulders is not out; this discourages the dangerous practice of aiming for the face. The Czech Lemonade Joe and the Soviet A Man from the Boulevard des Capuchines plump for pastiche or satire, making fun of the hard worn conventions of the American films. The aim of the variant King sting or Brandings is to throw the ball at others as hard as possible. Red Westerns which use the actual American west as a setting include, the Romanian The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, 1981) which dramatises the struggles of Romanian and Hungarian settlers in a new land. Opponents of dodgeball have argued that the game provides, for bullies, the excuse to abuse unathletic and unpopular students, by throwing the ball hard enough to cause injury. Add the gun slinging ethos, horse riding, working the land, pioneers of a sort (ideological often in this case!), the bounty hunter traversing difficult terrain with outlaw in tow, railroading and taming the wild frontier and you have a generic mirror image of the American genre. However, dodgeball has come under attack for failing to meet the needs of precisely those students.

The Ural Mountains can be equivalent to Monument Valley, the Volga river for the Rio Grande. As well, the game was seen as having a light-hearted and self-deprecatory nature and, therefore, more amenable to non-athletic students. By substituting, 'red' for 'blue' and 'Turk' for Mexican, there are the same opportunities for a sweeping drama played out against a backdrop of wide-open spaces. Since players normally were not part of a team, no player had to endure the teasing that would fall upon a player accused of "causing the team to lose". In Russia, the Ostern uses the generic calling cards of the American Western to dramatise the civil war in Central Asia in the 1920s and 30s, in which the Red Army fought to maintain their country against Islamic Turkic 'Basmachi' rebels. Dodgeball, when it emerged, was touted as the "nerd's sport". Westerns have proven particularly transferrable in the way that they create a mythology out of relatively recent history, a malleable idea that translates well to different cultures. The ball can be passed around amongst teammates in order to try and confuse the other team.

In a war in which many fabrications were made on both sides, there was often a lingering fascination with the cultural developments in enemy countries. The bodyguards, because they have three lives, may, as a strategy, form a protective wall around the president and lure the assassins into throwing the ball at them. 'Red Westerns' provide a counterpoint to familiar mythologies and conventions of the original genre, particularly as the makers were on the other side of a propaganda war without parallel, the Cold War, and this is partially why many have never been shown in the west, at least not until after the Cold War ended. The Presidential Entourage wins when all the assassins have been eliminated. In particular, Yugoslavia, Mongolia and the Southern USSR were used. The assassins win when the President has been hit with the ball (though bodyguards may still be alive). 'Red Westerns' of the first type are often compared to 'Spaghetti Westerns' (although technically these are 'Paella Westerns' being shot in Spain, rather than Italy), in that they use local scenery to double up for the American West. Once a player's life/lives have been extinguished, he/she must leave the field of play and watch the game.

Naturally many of these contained political messages, but they can still be watched impartially as action films, comedies etc, and it is certainly true to say that American director John Ford imbued his films with controversial political messages too. If he/she catches the ball, it must be handed off to a bodyguard, unless all the bodyguards are killed. It generally took two forms:. Note, however, that the President can catch the ball, but not throw it. The Ostern (Eastern) or Red Western was the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain countries' take on the Western movie. Normal dodgeball rules apply -- lives are lost when one gets hit by a ball or when one throws a ball that has been caught by the opposition. Examples of these include The Burning Miles (Ognennie Versti/Огненные вёрсты, 1957), The Bodyguard (Telokhranitel/Телохранитель, 1979), At Home among Strangers (1971), and famous Soviet film White Sun of the Desert (Beloye Solntse Pustynt/Белое солнце пустыни', 1970). While some of these are obviously influenced by Westerns, in some cases, the material can be seen as a parallel formation. The assassins have one life.

Easterns (Osterns), which took place usually on the steppes or Asian parts of the USSR, especially during the Russian Revolution or following Civil War. The President only has one life, and the bodyguards all have three lives. These were much more common in Eastern Europe, rather than the USSR itself. One man in the Presidential Bodyguard side is deemed President, and all other players must refer to him/her as President (insert last name). Proper Red Westerns, set in America's 'Wild West', such as Czechoslovakia's Lemonade Joe (Limonadovy Joe, 1964), or the East-German The Sons of the Great Mother Bear (Die Söhne der großen Bärin, 1966) or The Oil, the Baby and the Transylvanians (Pruncul, Petrolul Si Ardelenii, Romania, 1981) involving radically different themes and genres. It is preferable that the Assassins have more people, to make the game more balanced. Two teams are set, Assassins and Presidential Bodyguards.

PresidentBall is played in a large enclosed room. The game is won when one team sinks all of the opponent's ships, or if there is a time limit, and at the end of the limit, the team with the most pins up, not ships, wins. All other crew members must stay on the ship at all times, and throw balls at the other team's ships. However, only one person on each ship "crew" may step off the ship, and when he does, he may not throw any balls, and may only collect balls for his ship to use.

To sink a ship, the opposing team must throw balls and knock over all four of the pins on one of the other team's ships. The ships consist of a mat, which is large enough to fit about 5 people, with 4 pins placed at each corner of the mat. It is played in teams so that all of one team's ships are on one side and the others` on the opposite. Battleship Dodgeball is unique in that you aren't actually trying to sink the other team's ships.

The game ends when one teams` players have all been sent to prison. When a person is hit, like Prison Dodgeball, they are sent to the back of the opposing team's side, and can escape if they catch a ball out of the air, and hit the other team from behind. In this version to start the game balls are evenly distributed to both teams, then a referee signals the start. Often the partition is broken apart or pulled out partially for a twist.

In Barrier Dodgeball, multiple barriers are set up on each side of the area you are playing in, preferably a large gym that is capable of being divided in half with a partition. Barrier Dodgeball is similar to Prison. The game can be played with a large group of people playing for themselves, in teams, or one on one. The winner is the last player left in the playing area.

A player being hit at or below his or her knees is not grounds for a stoppage of play. Stoppages of play result from the ball being hit out of bounds or the ball being caught. This is also the procedure for resuming the game after a stoppage of play. Any player touching the ball or leaving the wall before the third bounce is considered out.

After three bounces the ball is in play and the players may leave the wall. The game is started either by placing the ball in the center of the octagon with each of the players touching the wall, or by bouning the ball and repeating the word "ga" each time the ball touches the floor. There is only one ball in play at a time in ga-ga. This and other matters of dispute are settled by the game's judges.

Pushing a player into the ball and any other physical contact is also a violation. Hitting the ball out of bounds is grounds for elimination unless it is as the result of a defensive deflection. Carrying, throwing, or catching the ball after a bounce also results in elimination. Touching the ball twice consecutively without the ball touching another player or the wall is grounds for elimination unless that player is attempting to catch the ball.

A player can also be eliminated by having his or her ball caught in the air. That player is then out and must leave the playing area. The objective of the game is to eliminate one's opponents by hitting the ball with either an open hand or closed fist into the region at or below his or her knees. Ga-ga or GaGa is a form of dodgeball which is played within an octagonal enclosure when available, or in any other space that is completely enclosed by walls.

Pin Guard is sometimes also reffered to as Bombardment or Battle Ball. The game is also sometimes played with two pins per team. Players can get out by getting hit in the head and the player who hit the person is out or also if a ball is thrown and a player catches it, the player who threw it is out.There are several variations such as if the game is played in a gym, then if a player hits the basketball hoop's backboard then that team frees all eliminated players, (this only applies if there is one player left on team). The objective is to knock over the opposing team's pin or eleiminate all players on the other team.

Pin Guard is played with two teams each with a pin and balls. In some versions of capture the flag, balls are not used, so it cannot be considered dodgeball. A team wins by either eliminating the other team or capturing all of the flags. No more than one flag can be picked up by a single person in one run.

If a player is tagged or eliminated on his side by a ball, he must immediately drop the flag, which can either be picked up by another teammate or returned to its starting position by a member of the enemy team. While on the enemy side, a player can be eliminated only by being tagged. A player can attempt to steal an opposing team's flag by running across the center line, retrieving it, and returning it back to a bucket in the back of their court. A variation of Trench is Capture the Flag, which is played the same way as Trench except that each team has 8-10 flags in the back of their court (usually on the dividing line between the trench and the team's field of play).

Play continues until one team has wiped out the other team. If a player in the trench catches a ball from one of his teammates, he can re-enter the game and is not a valid target until he is back on his side (but he can be eliminated as soon as he steps over that center line again). Any time a player is hit, he must go stand behind the opposing team in the trench, a designated area, usually the out of bounds portion of that side of the basketball court. When the whistle is blown, players run to grab those balls and a game of standard dodgeball begins, with one exception.

Both teams start on a line roughly 8-10 feet away from the center, where several balls are placed. The dividing line is the center line of one of the basketball courts (imaginarily spread across the gym). Trench is a variation typically played inside of a large gym (spanning two basketball courts). In the non-team version of the game, throwers caught or players struck join the other team; the 1st player struck during the dodgeball phase becomes the sole initial catcher on return to the 1st phase.

When all throwers have been struck or the sticks are reassembled, the teams swap roles and the game returns to the 1st phase. If the ball is not caught after hitting the sticks, the game proceeds to the dodgeball phase, the catchers attempting to strike the throwers while the throwers attempt to reassemble the sticks. If the ball is caught after hitting the sticks, the entire throwing team is out, and the teams swap roles. The 1st phase ends when a thrower strikes the sticks.

If not caught, the thrower goes to the back of the not-out throwers' queue awaiting another turn. If the ball is caught, the thrower is out. One team (the throwers) take turns attempting to strike the sticks with a ball from a fixed distance, while the other team (the catchers) try to catch the ball on the rebound off the wall before it hits the ground. In the 1st phase, two popsicle sticks are adjacently placed parallel on the ground leaning against a wall, supporting a horizontal half-length crosspiece.

Sticks has two phases to the game. It requires very strong anaerobic and aerobic stamina. It is practically the same as the standard version but there are strict time limits on throwing the ball and defending. In the county of Cornwall in England, there remains a regional version of the game called Cornish Dodgeball.

Last one standing wins. If they catch a ball thrown by another player he is not out but they regain one of their "missing" limbs. If they are hit in the head or torso they are out. Players who are hit in the legs or arms lose the use of that limb.

"Army Dodge Ball" Involves no true teams but is more of a free for all. Besides that, the rules are the same as regular dodgeball. You can be attacked from any direction. It is played with both teams on one half of a Basketball Court.

Space Dodgeball is set up like so:(X=Team 1|A=Team 2|O=Balls). When one person is hit they are then out and must join the others around the circle throwing the ball(s) at the other players. Court Dodgeball is played with two people on either end of a circle with one or two balls while everyone else is in the middle. Once out, players stayed out, but continued the game from the rear court until a winner was declared.

Depending on the size of the teams, up to five balls would be in play at one time. Only players in the middle sections could be targeted. They could then throw the ball at the opposing team from behind. Players who have moved to the rear sections of the court could retrieve loose balls, but would have to return to the rear court before continuing play.

Players who stepped out of bounds were also declared out. Players in this area who are hit by the rubber ball (about the size of a basketball) or whose toss is caught are declared "out" and must cross to the opposite end of the court, behind their opponents. Teams begin with all players in the two, larger partitions in the middle. Munkenai is a variation of Prisonball in which teams face off on a rectangular playing court somewhat smaller than a full basketball court and composed of four areas.

Furthermore, in "prisonball," a ball thrown to a "prison," when caught, releases all the "prisoners" to return to their original side. In all except Prisonball though, "prisoners" remain behind the opposing team until the game is over. This puts a lot more pressure on the teams as they can be sandwiched between enemies. To get out of prison, he must hit the opposing team from behind.

Prisonball (also known as Nationball, Battleball, Teamball, Crossfire; King's Court in Canada and Queimada or Queimado in Brazil) is played much like dodgeball, but when a player is hit, he gets put in "prison" behind the opposing team. The winner is the last man standing. If one is struck before getting to the wall then they are out. More often than not the ball is thrown as hard as possible for incentive.

A variation on this is a game termed "Wall Ball"; if someone fails to catch the ball (after an attempt to catch it and touches it without the result of a catch) then they must endeavour to get to the wall before another player strikes them with the ball. When a player is hit, he or she leaves the court and his or her victims return to the game. The ball cannot be carried, but must be bounced off a wall and caught. "German Dodgeball" is a free-for-all game with no boundaries.

If the leader is hit, the game is over. King's Court also involves a leader. Some teams employ a "fake doctor" strategy to throw the opposing team off-guard as to who the doctor actually is. Therefore, it is key for a team to pay attention in order to figure out who the enemy doctor is.

The game ends when one team is entirely eliminated, which would happen a lot quicker if a team loses their "doctor", and another variation of the game ends as soon as the doctor is hit. Dodgeball saves the fallen players, they can get up and play again. When Dr. Dodgeball" to come and save them.

When players are hit, they fall on the ground and waits for "Dr. Dodge) involves a leader in each team who tries to avoid getting hit. Dodgeball (also known as Medic or Dr. Dr.

The game ends when all of a team's players are eliminated, or (more often) when all of a team's pins are knocked over. Once knocked over, a pin must stay down. If a team's pin gets knocked over, either by accident or by a ball thrown by the other team, all players on the other team return to play. Pin-Dodge is played like standard dodgeball, except that each team has four wooden pins (like bowling pins, but narrower and more easily knocked over) at the back of their side of the court.

The player who successfully eliminates all other opponents is the winner. No other player is allowed to possess the ball unless it is the result of a catch, in which the attacker is eliminated, every player that said attacker eliminated returns to the game, and the catcher becomes the new attacker. The first player to possess the ball becomes the attacker and attempts to eliminate all the other players.
Scramble is an every-player-for-him/herself variation which starts with a jump ball.

This game is played in some Australian schoolyards and is usually prohibited due to the ball being thrown hard at people with the intention of pain, but this does not stop it from being played. The game can also involve double or triple fumbles, i.e the player who moves to recover the ball after the other player has fumbled it also fumbles it, in which case he or she must also attempt to touch the wall as they are also elligible to have the ball thrown at them. If the player who goes to catch the ball drops it or it hits any part of there body they are said to have 'fumbled' the ball and must attempt to touch the wall before the ball can be thrown at them. If the ball has bounced off the wall and it hits the ground first before someone catches it the the 1st player is also safe.

However, if the 1st player runs to the wall and touches it he is 'safe and the ball cannot be thrown at him. If the ball is caught by another player on the full i.e before it hits the ground then the player who caught the ball will throw it at the player who bounced it off the wall with the intention of hurting them. The game starts when a player bounces the ball off the wall. It can be played anywhere with a relatively high wall, e.g the side of a building.

Fumbles is a free-for-all schoolyard game that uses a smaller ball, usually a tennis ball or a spaldeen. Dodgeball, King's Court, King sting, "German" Dodgeball, Barrier Dodgeball, Battleship, and Prison Ball. Several variations of dodgeball include Scramble, Pin-Dodge, Dr. If any of these players should later catch a ball thrown by the opposing team, the opposing thrower is out (and must sit down) and the player who caught the ball is back in.

One rule variant specifies that players who are hit, instead of stepping off the court, sit down where they are hit. In all versions, a player who steps from his square to the enemy team's square is also eliminated. In other variants which don't allow catching, handling the ball counts as a hit, while punching or handling the ball with a closed fist does not. In other variations a catch (in addition to eliminating the thrower) also allows another player from the catching team to re-enter.

In some variants, catching the ball enacts a reversal; if the target catches (rather than dodges) the ball, the thrower is eliminated. The game ends when one player (or team) remains. The objective of each player is to hit an opponent so as to eliminate him or her from the game. A number (although sometimes only one) of medium-sized rubber balls (the same sort used in four square) are placed in a central location.

Players are usually split into teams, though sometimes play individually. There are many variations of the game, but all involve some players trying to avoid being hit by a ball, that other players are throwing at them. Dodgeball (or dodge ball) is the name of a traditional elementary school game, taught in high school education classes, but also popular in informal settings, often played by schoolchildren on a playground.

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