In southern Africa, the Zulu tribe reside, they are not the most technologically advanced society at tribe of people with basic tactical organisation with only the land to provide. The film Zulu portrays this view to exceptional accuracy, the war dance, the way that they dressed, the Zulu chant, all of which were very much so real.
The Zulu warfare is one of marble, respect and awe. They only had man-made spears and animals skin Shields that were capable of sheer massacre and destruction. This is shown when the Zulu tribe engage in English outposts in retaliation to there land being taken from them.
The use of long shot, pan shot or even close up shot allows the viewer to feel the horrors that faced English outposts.
As a portrayal of pure courage, unglorified heroism, Zulu captivates the viewer. Both sides in this battle are shown real men, warriors all, and there is no dwelling on the moral rectitude the British soldiers or the Zulu opponents.
The use of visual backgrounds and sets create the atmosphere of actually being in South Africa though they never went.
The battle scenes are stirring but as importantly, the film carefully crafts its characters with depth and humanity. These are ordinary men defending themselves tenaciously and courageously. In similar light, the Zulu warriors are portrayed with respect as fearsome and brave warriors. They are portrayed as a disciplined army with proven tactics and experienced leaders.
In the end the Zulu king saw that the British warriors had courage to stay and fight a surely loosing battle. This portrayed that the Zulu king was not a fierce tyrant but a wise leader due to him seeing this courage.