Sonntag, 29. November 2009

Winnetou's Sister and I

Marie Versini
(by Marlies Bugmann)

I first heard that lovely French name when I watched Winnetou’s sister ride side by side with Winnetou and Old Shatterhand across the wide silver screen, sometime during the early 1960s. Since then, I’ve watched the beautiful ‘Apache maiden’ countless times fall in love with Old Shatterhand, the white adventurer in Karl May’s Wild West.

Of course, Marie Versini, the accomplished and very charming French actress has not only played several female roles in movies adapted from May’s novels, but has also acted in a long list of wonderful stage plays, movies and television productions throughout her successful acting career.

As I translate Karl May’s novels into English, I become very closely acquainted with the characters in his works and, consequently, also get to know more of the actors and actresses who played, and still play, those roles, which is especially delightful to me when I find that my childhood heroes and heroines continue to honour Karl May’s world in the way Marie Versini does.

To me, Marie Versini HAS become Nsho-Chi, Winnetou’s sister. By following her own dreams, asking ‘what if’ and developing an alternative world to Karl May’s, whereby Nsho-Chi has lived on and given life to a daughter, Versini is connecting a new generation to Karl May’s spirit.
In my view, Versini’s two recent novels, co-authored by her husband, author and director, Pierre Viallet, Rätsel um N.T ('Riddles About N.T.'), and N.T. geht zum Film ('N.T. Goes To The Movies'), are a delightful new concept with which Karl May’s world and the people he populated it with have found new life. To my admiration for the actress Marie Versini has been added an even deeper respect for the writer Marie Versini as the trials and tribulations of giving life to a book are not only a rewarding, but, above all, also a challenging way of life.

Marie Versini, Winnetou’s sister, continues to play a very important role in my life. She stepped into the guise of the Apache maiden and has, thus, helped to draw me into the world of Karl May as a teenager; forty-something years later, Marie Versini is still enriching my life—by having remained Winnetou’s sister.

Marlies Bugmann, Hobart, Tasmania, November, 2009
Please visit Marlies Bugmann here...
Australian Friends of Karl May http://www.karl-may-friends.net/


The picture of Marie Versini was given to us with friendly permission of the owner, Mr. Elmar Elbs. Thank you very much!

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