The remaking of the original Shaka Zulu. Born a bastard buried a king. Shaka was the first true King of the Zulus; a military genius and political strategist, who knitted together scattered... See full summary »
Framed around Queen Victoria's decision on England's political stance towards the Zulu Nation, this mini-series details King Shaka's rise and fall with mythic detail. Prophecy is mixed with recorded fact regarding Shaka's birth, exile, innovations in warfare, assumption of the throne, building of the Zulu Empire, first contact with Europe and the events that lead to his downfall. Written by
Renee Ann Byrd <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This has been the most repeatedly screened mini-series ever shown on television in the United States. By 1992, over 350 million viewers had seen it. The series dislodged The Hunters (1957) and The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) and its sequels as the prime shaper of American perceptions of "tribal" history in southern Africa. The series even achieved cult status. The UK actors who worked on the project were nearly blacklisted by the UN. See more »
Since he ascended the throne of the Zulus in 1816, Shaka has forged one of the mightiest empires the African continent has ever known... In less than 6 years, his small, insignificant tribe has risen from obscurity and given its name to an all-powerful nation organized into a fearsome military machine. Shaka is known as a mass murderer - a depraved ogre whose thirst for conquest knows no limits. He has deluged his country with innocent blood, disregarding the most sacred ties of affection, ...
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Great action, atmosphere, acting: great miniseries
Although not a despot known to many, Shaka Zulu controlled an empire at the height of his power comparable to that of Napolean and was as brutal as Vlad the Impaler; this miniseries very successfully shows his rise to power, relationship with British envoys, and eventual fall.
As the mini-series opens, a solemn South African representative listens to the British elite, including Queen Victoria, belittle his people and then begs them to let his people keep their sovereignty. The series then flashbacks to the British embassy going to meet Shaka, running into trouble, and eventually earning his trust after an assassination attempt. The series then flashbacks to his rise to power from a young boy to the most powerful man on the continent of Africa. The flashbacks never get confusing, the story is always well told. The cinematography is brilliant, the acting (especially by Henry Cele in the title role) is very competent, and the characters are very compelling.
The series has a little something for everyone, although I think it would appeal more to history buffs like myself. In addition, there is substantial amounts of nudity, as most of the African women go around topless. While the nudity didn't detract from the narrative or become gratutitious, it is something to think about before letting younger viewers watch.
All in all i heartily recommend this mini-series, whether for a really, really rainy day or an hour at at time after work.
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