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More Realism Requested In Images/Films
Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 203
Location: U.K.
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I’ve found it intriguing lately looking about AZW forums whilst lockdown is threatening again - it appears the idea of showing more devastation of the Isandhlwana camp, bloody combat, the dead lying spread on the ground in the aftermath seems to be sought by many to be included in new films, etc.

My question - if this is the case and no new films are likely any time on the horizon, why are there no serious requests to show similar realistic scenes in modern-day representations of paintings instead of the usual romanticised versions ?

There have been numerous paintings of last stands, but nothing of the type apparently sought in new films, only touching on the horror of the battlefield.

Why seek more graphic imagery in a film, but remain content with the usual heroic portrayals in art ?

Surely we have a chance to show the reality of war in 1879 if demanded ?

A bit of a contradiction in my mind tbh...

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Alan
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 1461
Location: Wales
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The one thing that springs to my mind is that films are transient and the images last no longer
in view than the time you are there. A painting is sat there as long as the viewer and would
then be open to scrutiny of the humanity and politics in the topic. I think we have enough
of that already.

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Colin


Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 203
Location: U.K.
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Indeed. I’ve been looking the sketches made by Melton Prior, etc., of scenes as described above, such as the morning departure of Chelmsford’s force from Isandhlwana with the dead lying on the ground, albeit not too graphic, plus the return to bury the dead, men walking the devastated field, human and animal skeletons scattered around, some troopers building cairns, etc.

I’m sure there are many other sketches from then that show similar, but fascinated why this was never picked up on in more realistic art, or even modern representations in AZW books, to convey the true horror with more definition for present day audiences.

I think it was the artist Turner, who once visited the field of Waterloo, later painting a striking scene of people walking amongst the piled dead with lanterns, which gave me the thought of a similar scene for Isandhlwana when Chelmsford’s men spent the night in the devastated camp surrounded by the dead from both sides.

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-the-field-of-waterloo-n00500

Also, imagined scenes in the aftermath, such as the wrecked ambulance wagon, the guns/horses trapped in the ravine, even just the Zulus moving around the camp which was touched upon wonderfully by Ian Knight in a couple of Osprey titles, including Zulus wearing not only 24th tunics, but those of a Natal Carbineer.

There are so many paintings of the battle at Isandhlwana, but in my opinion, scenes showing the aftermath would have quite a visual impact, that for all both sides fought bravely, there was only going to be one outcome...a field of the dead, the injured and the dying, with the once smart camp layout destroyed.

I know for sure that if I was an artist choosing what to paint, I would have concentrated on these sorts of scenes, plus Fugitives’ Trail and the men struggling at Fugitives’ Drift.

In the 21st Century, I feel the age of romanticism in art of war is long past, that when covering military history, the reality should be depicted nowadays, in order not to display conflicts in the 19th Century as a sort of ‘lesser’ horror than more modern wars, when they should be depicted equally.

I just felt that I wanted to post how we should try to get away from the seemingly majority viewpoint of seeing the AZW in the same light as the film ZULU.

Anyway, back to my reading.

Keep safe and well all

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It’s A Shame A Legend Begins At Its End
Why Do You Have To Die If You’re A Hero

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More Realism Requested In Images/Films
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