An Analysis of Zulu Dawn

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The film Zulu Dawn was directed by Douglas Hickox in which the Battle of Islandlwana is depicted. It was written by Cy Endfiled and published by American Cinema Releasing in 1979. The purpose of the film is to inform the audience of the struggle between the British military and Zulu warriors during the winter of 1879 in South Africa. As well as being informational Zulu Dawn also serves to entertain because it conjures anger and sympathy in the minds of it’s audience.

The movie begins with the Zulu tribe dancing and chanting, obviously participating in a celebration. While the celebration is taking place, Lord Chelmsford and Sir Bartle Henry Frère are discussing the annihilation of the Zulu Kingdom in order to continue expanding Cape Colony’s industrial economy; the two justify this by explaining that Cetshwayo “rules in old ways that are not right”. Lord Chelmsford gives Cetshwayo an ultimatum requiring him to disband his Kingdom. By refusing this ultimatum Cetshwayo has initiated an attack from Lord Chelmsford and the British forces into the Zulu land. The British were well trained and far more advanced in weaponry than the Zulu warriors. Although the Zulu tribe had only spears, they had 30,000 warriors, greatly outnumbering the British forces. Three Zulu warriors purposely become captured in an attempt to mislead the British and succeed in doing so. Eventually the Zulu warriors charge to the camp of the British. Rounds of men are able to hold off “the black wave of death” for some time but ammunition begins to run short causing hand to hand battle. The Zulus continue to advance on the British who are holding their own while suffering severe causalities from the never ending Zulu army. As the camp falls Colonel Pulleine gives the Queen's Colours of the 2nd battalion, 24th Regiment of Foot to two junior officers who attempt to carry them safely back to Natal. However, the officers are attacked by the Zulus and the colours are captured. Lieutenant...
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