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 <email@example.com>
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 »
[their final meeting before Shaka's return to his capital, where Shaka will be assassinated by his own aunt]
... Tell me - How do you catch a monkey?
Lt. Francis Farewell:
Well, a gourd is used... with a narrow neck. Bait is dropped into the gourd: a piece of fruit, or - or something shiny. The monkey puts his hand into the gourd to get the bait, and then he's trapped... because he can't get his fist out.
Once he realizes he's trapped, why doesn't the monkey let go of the bait?
Lt. Francis Farewell:
Because his greed makes him blind.
[...] See more »
Although I remember seeing some of the original mini-series in the 80s I had never watched the whole story. My interest was re-awakened when I bought the Shaka Zulu box set in the January sales. Having watched the whole series through I realised that this was a great story, very well told and well acted (especially by the African leads - some of the British cast seem hammy in comparison although Edward Fox to his credit is less hammy than normal).
There are good production values and great scenery (the series used many of the original locations from Shaka's life) and hundreds of "real" extras. All in all a refreshing change from the vacuous CGI laden "epics" which flood the cinema now. I think the fact this was a mini-series has led to this production being seriously undervalued. It is a lot better than many films which get given Oscars.
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