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England is spreading its control in Africa. Also amassing control is Shaka, the great leader of the Zulu nation. His innovations in warfare and brutal treatment of both friend and enemy allow him to dominate surrounding tribes. On Queen Victoria's command, the two superpowers collide in epic battle. 8-1/2 hours on 4 DVDs.
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This sweeping miniseries from 1986 captures the rise and fall of an African emperor. Shaka Zulu begins following a British expedition sent to bargain with the fearsome Zulu army assembling on the outer edges of the British colonies in South Africa. Led by Lt. Francis Farewell (The Day of the Jackal, A Bridge Too Far), the expedition hopes to bamboozle a superstitious primitive, but their arrogance gets taken down a notch by a cunning and ruthless warlord who has unified vast territories through a combination of political charisma and military discipline. At this point, the focus shifts to how Shaka (the riveting Henry Cele), king of the Zulus, rose from a brutal childhood to royal grandeur--a semi-mythological tale filled with family strife, political intrigue, witchcraft, and bloody warfare. Powerful performances by Cele and Dudu Mikhize (as Shaka's iron-willed mother, Nandi) give this sprawling epic the drive and emotional scope of a Shakespearean drama. Shaka Zulu also draws sneaky parallels between the Zulu and British empires, often to sharp satirical effect. Full of richly conceived characters and compelling political maneuvering, this eight-hour series brings faraway history to living, breathing life. Also featuring Christopher Lee (whose always-steady career exploded at age 79 with juicy roles in The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars: Episode II, Attack of the Clones). --Bret FetzerFrom the Back Cover:
The complete, acclaimed miniseries available on DVD for the first time! He was an illegitimate prince who reclaimed his birthright with brilliance and brutality. He created a vast new nation from warring tribes and forged an army that defied the most powerful empire on earth. He was Shaka Zulu.
Brought to life in an epic, 10-part production, the story of the legendary, 19th-century African king became one of the most compelling and controversial miniseries 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 the unforgettable tale of a man who stood at the heart of a battle between two worlds. Filmed entirely on location in South Africa, SHAKA ZULU stars Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars Episode II), Edward Fox (The Dresser, Gandhi), and Henry Cele as Shaka. Approx. 8 hours.
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