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Documentary on Breaker Morant on History Channel

News - Date: 09 March 2018

Written by: Anton van Zyl / Viewed: 543


The documentary about the infamous Breaker Morant, based on the somewhat controversial book of military lawyer James Unkles, will be screened on DSTV’s History Channel next Monday night (12 March).

Breaker Morant – The Retrial, was directed by Nick Bleszynski and Gregory Miller. The two of them also wrote the script. A large part of the documentary was filmed in South Africa and a number of standby actors from the Soutpansberg were used when shooting some of the scenes.

The storyline focuses on what is often described as the greatest military controversy of Australian history. It explores the origins and character of Harry “The Breaker” Morant, an Englishman who became an Australian legend. Morant and Peter Handcock were executed for war crimes by the British during the Anglo Boer War.

In the documentary, the producers try and establish what had really happened in South Africa over a century ago. Claims are made that the legal process was flawed and that the two Australian officers became the scapegoats for the British Empire. By cross-examining historians and legal experts, the filmmakers try and separate facts from fiction.

The documentary delves into the personal life of Morant, starting with his claims of being the illegitimate offspring of a titled admiral. It follows his exile in Australia where he established The Breaker legend as a hard-living larrikin bushman, to his work as a famed poet alongside Henry Lawson and Banjo Patterson, and finally as an Australian soldier serving in the Boer War.

Australian actor Ben Wall plays the role of Morant and the dramatic re-enactments were shot on location in Australia and South Africa. In the Soutpansberg district, the film crew used Lalapanzi Hotel as a base.

The documentary will be shown on Monday, 12 March, at 18:30 on DSTV channel 186. There will be repeat broadcasts the next day at 02:15 and at 13:40 and again on Sunday (18 March) at 14:25 and then again on Monday, 19 March at 18:30 and 22:00.

A YouTube trailer of the documentary can be viewed at


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  • Avatar
    james unkles 9 months ago

    Would welcome feedback regards

  • Avatar
    james unkles 9 months ago

    Hi sorry I cant be there would love to provide the audience with a first hand explanation of the case for pardons that has evolved since I visited to mske the 60 minutes program in 2010. On 12 Feb 18, a motion I drafted was passed by the Australian Parliament that recognised these men were not tried according to law and Morant and Handcock illegally executed by Lord Kitchener. A sincere expression of regret was extended to the descendants of Morant Handcock and Witton. More news to follow as the case moves to final resolution and justice delivered. I hope you enjoy the documentary. Regards James Unkles, not Uncle!

    (Apologies for the spelling error - probably the spell check having it's own opinion. We corrected it. - Editor)

    last edited by Anton Van Zyl on 2018-03-13 10:29:52

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The YouTube trailer for the documentary can be found at


A re-enacted scene from the documentary showing Morant and Handcock's execution in Pretoria in 1902. 

A scene from the documentary showing soldiers of the Bushveld Carbineers executing Boer soldiers.


Anton van Zyl

Anton van Zyl has been with the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror for over 27 years. He graduated at the the Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and obtained a BA Communications degree. He is a founder member of the Association of Independent Publishers.


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