Narrated by award-winning actor John Hurt, this is a series of three programmes covering the story of the Zulu Nation, told in drama-documentary style, but also including interviews with historians and descendants, plus many re- enacted battle scenes.
The episodes are entitled Shaka, King of the Zula; Blood River; and Red Coat, Black Blood and cover the history of the Zulu nation from its foundation by Shaka until its defeat by the British.
Shaka was an illegitimate prince who reclaimed his birthright to become a 19th-century African king, forging a nation with brilliance and brutality. Shaka created a vast new nation from warring tribes and created an efficient and disciplined army from hoards of anarchic Zulu warriors. The nation rose together to become an army that defeated the British army - from the then most powerful empire on Earth. The legend of Shaka is one of the most compelling and controversial stories in television history. From his boyhood in exile to the bloody struggles that solidified his rule and his proud defiance of British colonists, Shaka Zulu is an unforgettable tale of a man who stood at the heart of a battle between two worlds.
The story of the most famous engagement of the Anglo- Zulu War of 1879, Rorke's Drift, pitted more than 3000 Zulus against the mission station's tiny garrison of 150 British and Imperial soldiers. In this history of the battle, the film examines the opposing commanders, armies and their tactics. The Gatling gun and canons, used to devastating effect at Ulundi, are also examined, as is the Zulu counterpart weapon, the Assegai, and the history of its creation by Shaka. There is fantastic footage of the Zulu and their culture, customs and heritage, and the battle scenes are recreated to feature film quality. These are not just Anglo-Zulu battles, but Zulu-Zulu and Zulu-Boer. It has been researched in depth, and much attention to historical detail has been paid. Much Zulu information is based upon folklore and legend passed down over time, but you are able to believe that what you are being told is, in all probability, how it actually happened.
Broadcast Distribution: National Geographic Television International