'Breaker' Morant Reviews
A major world power, tired of playing games to get access to a precious commodity, invades an independent nation under false pretenses. The invasion advanced swiftly. Soon the country was occupied, but mobile insurgents using guerilla tactics kept total victory just out of the invader's grasp.
No, I'm not talking about the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
I'm talking about the Boer War (Fall 1899 to Spring 1902): The British Empire invaded South Africa (Orange Free State and the South African Republic) to gain unfettered access to the gold mines. A handful of Boer (Farmer) Guerillas - mostly Dutch, backed by Germany - fought a savage campaign to rid themselves of the occupiers, resorting to techniques that were previously unheard of in warfare. The British, shocked by the Boer's lack of uniforms, their use of field executions to avoid having to keep prisoners, and the use of civilians as a defense shield, created a special force that operated under covert battle orders that the British High Command would later deny.
The special forces answered the Boer's atrocities tit for tat and began to make headway against the Boer. The Germans, watching closely, were outraged at the execution of a priest (informant) by one of the special forces, the Bushveldt Carbaniers, lead by Breaker Morant. The Germans threatened to enter the war. The British Empire, weary of the Boer War and wary of the Germans, offered up Morant and two other officers as sacrifices to appease the Germans.
Jack Thomas, an Australian with only peripheral legal experience, is given one day to prepare a defense for Morant, an Australian hero, and two of his colleagues, one of which was Lt. George Witton who later penned the book "Scapegoats of the Empire."
"Breaker Morant" is the Australian-produced masterpiece that tells of the events that lead to Morant's arrest and his subsequent court-martial. The unfolding events, interwoven with early court scenes, are a moral bind-bender. The court proceedings were fantastic as Thomas battled gamely against the British cover-up.
An outstanding film.