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News - Date: 09 March 2018
Written by: Anton van Zyl / Viewed: 530
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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnNlS5AG6DI.
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The YouTube trailer for the documentary can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnNlS5AG6DI.
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.