Zulu (1964)

by Etienne Brule

After reading the reviews of the current crop of movies that the goyim-wranglers have shoveled into our feed-trough this summer, I've decided to graze elsewhere - a lush green pasture called Zulu. This 1964 British production, starring Michael Caine and Stanley Baker, is a story of race war in its most basic and inspiring form.

Zulu is a dramatization of the Battle of Rorke's Drift, in Natal Province, South Africa, in January of 1879. There, 140 British soldiers, a quarter of whom were wounded or sick, fought off repeated attacks by more than 4000 Zulu warriors. The British, who were armed with nothing more than single-shot rifles and bayonets, repulsed every assault and every tactic the Zulus employed. In doing so, their survivors won 11 Victoria Crosses (posthumous awards were not granted then).


The Zulus were the most powerful tribe of African savages that Whites ever encountered. Unlike other Africans, they fought in large, disciplined formations with a reasonable degree of order. This set them so far above the other Africans that it allowed them to live by pillaging and enslaving their neighbors, then trading in slaves to supply their remaining wants.

To achieve this degree of discipline, so rare among blacks, Zulu chieftains relied on sheer terror. They typically started their reign by murdering their siblings and any other possible rivals. From then on, the chief and his court held the unchallenged power of life and death over his subjects. They exercised this power frequently -- one chief would often start his day by having dozens killed before breakfast.

Amazingly, Zulu chiefs were even able to gain a measure of control over their subjects' sex lives. Zulus were polygamous, but adultery was outlawed. To even be suspected of transgression meant an immediate and painful death, and this served to keep it under some control. The prospect of an immediate and severe punishment seems to be one of the few proven ways of keeping the African's carnal urges in check. How many thousands of White women have suffered the consequences of our forgetting this?

In the film, the 1879 Zulus are portrayed by the 1964 members of that tribe. Since few (if any) of them had ever seen a movie before, the British producers had them watch American westerns to show them what a movie was, and what they were expected to do.

Despite this training, Zulu is not Fort Apache with the Indians in blackface and the 7th Cavalry dressed up in red coats. The 19th century Briton was a breed apart from his American cousin. Unlike the latter, he was acutely aware of where he stood within a clearly defined hierarchy, and exactly how far he could push things without crossing the line. As a result, Zulu brims with insolence. I'll provide a sampling of it throughout this review.

      The movie...

Zulu begins with a mass wedding ceremony at a large Zulu village. Opposing lines of hooting warriors and bare-breasted negresses shake their body parts at each other to the accompaniment of drums and savage howling. Their chief sits in the place of honor, smiling down on the barbaric rites. Smiling along with him is the Rev. Witt (Jack Hawkins), a hopelessly liberal Swedish missionary, who has deluded himself into thinking these Hottentots are his "flock." He has brought along his visiting daughter, Margareta (Ulla Jacobsson), to show her what missionary work is all about. She is horror-stricken by the savage spectacle.

The contrast between the brutish Zulu females and this fair Nordic maiden could not be more striking. She is dressed in white from head to toe, in a long dress, gloves, and a wide brimmed hat to shield her fair skin from the terrible African sun. Only her face and hair are exposed, but these alone radiate a beauty that no African could hope to rival.

Soon, the festivities are interrupted by a messenger bringing the glad tidings that their brother Zulus have just massacred a column of 800 British troops. The chief immediately orders his warriors on the march to the church of the lunatic missionary, the one where they are "parishioners." The British are using it as a hospital, and now it and its garrison should be ripe for the picking. One of the savages makes a bee-line for Margareta, but the chief has him killed to make a point -- "First slaughter, then rape."

Back at the missionary's church, army life is proceeding at a snail's pace. The surgeon is weeding malingerers from his sick call and the company commander is off on a small safari. An engineer, Lt. Chard (Stanley Baker), who had previously been detached from the doomed column, has press-ganged an unenthusiastic detail from the Welsh garrison into building a bridge across a nearby stream. Returning from his hunt, the company commander, Lt. Bromhead (Michael Caine), at first glance an insufferable upper-class snob, scolds Chard for using his men without permission, then allows him to continue ("Do carry on with your mud pies").

Then, the outriders of disaster start arriving. A survivor of the massacre named Adendorff (Gert Van Der Berg) is first, bringing the news that the column and its 400 native auxiliaries ("more damned cowardly blacks" -- Bromhead) have been slain. The two Lieutenants, Chard and Bromhead, then compare notes and discover that Chard, the engineer, has prior date of rank and is therefore in command ("Well, there are such things as gifted amateurs" -- Bromhead).

The panicked missionaries soon follow. "You will all be killed!" Witt keeps shouting. "I don't think so," replies Chard, "the army doesn't like more than one disaster in a day." Bromhead continues the thought, almost as an aside, "Looks bad in the newspapers and upsets civilians at their breakfast." Witt continues raving about what his "flock" are about to do to them ("Are you sure you're on the right side of the river?" -- Chard). Finally, the exasperated officer drives him out of the camp, while the missionary shouts his final encouragement to the troops:

"Death awaits you! You have made a covenant with death and with hell you are in agreement. You're all going to die!"

Zulu shows a fine understanding of the suicidally crazy White liberal, the type who will argue, alternately, that non-Whites are our brothers, that it is evil to resist them, then finally that we have no hope of defending ourselves against them. All of these statements are false and, as in the movie, our first task is to rid ourselves of those who preach these sentiments.

The preparations for battle get underway -- lookouts are posted, the chapel is converted into a surgery, and defensive works are improvised using wagons and bags of meal. Here, Adendorff proves invaluable. As a Boer ("the Zulus are the enemy of my blood"), he can advise the British on how best to fight off "the Fuzzies." The rough preparations are only just completed when the Zulus arrive in force.

Soon, the fighting begins, first with testing probes, then with fierce mass assaults. The British hold them off with musketry and bayonets. At a few crucial junctures, they are able to lure the Zulus into attacking previously prepared fallback positions, where the British inflict ruinous casualties on them.

The movie occasionally shows the surgery, where Surgeon Reynolds (Patrick Magee) operates without stop on his White patients while guards posted in the windows keep the Zulus from killing him. This again illustrates that race war is like no other type -- no mercy is expected and none is given. Only White lives are worth saving here, the only treatment wounded Zulus receive from the Welsh infantrymen is a finishing thrust with a bayonet.

During the course of the battle, many of the distinctions separating the Whites begin to fade. Bromhead, the aristocrat, works with rifle and bayonet alongside the men he had scorned as "damned rankers." Malingerers become heroes, fighting hand-to-hand in the wards of the burning hospital. Wounded men struggle to assist those still able to fight. Hour after hour, long into the night, the pitiless battle continues, finally subsiding before dawn.

After daybreak, the Zulus form up for their final attack. They begin performing a war chant, beating their spears against rawhide shields in unison, hooting along to this jungle beat. One of the Welshmen, a singer in the company choir, remarks sardonically, "They've got a very good bass section, mind, but no top tenors." Refusing to allow any challenge to go unanswered, Chard orders his men to sing. The choir member leads his weary comrades in "Men of Harlech," a traditional Welsh battle hymn.

Just as with the contrast between Margareta Witt and the Zulu women, the difference between White and black music is extreme. As the scene alternates between the two lines, the percussive thud of the blacks is answered by the soaring melody of the Whites; the dull menacing drums of rap answered by Beethoven's Ode to Joy. The Welsh refrain echoes long after the movie has ended:

Men of Harlech onto glory
This shall ever be your story
Keep these fighting words before ye
Welshmen never yield!

Anyone who is looking for an inspiring movie this summer, or any time, should watch Zulu." It is a reminder of what White courage and tenacity can achieve, and that is something we should never forget. Zulu shows what Whites have been, and can be again, once we rid ourselves of the crazy missionaries in our midst.




Those of you interested in the events of the Battle of Rorke's Drift should visit the following website:


The website has reports written by several of the survivors of the battle, including the V.C. winners. It also compares events in the movie to those which happened in real life. If anything, the film tends to understate the courage of some of the soldiers.

Zulu is occasionally shown on the Encore network, and is available on videotape, from Amazon.com. Buy it here.

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