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Michael Caine Furious After Govt Puts His Hit Movie on Terrorism Prevention List

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It was George Orwell who famously said, “Who controls the past controls the future: Who controls the present controls the past.”

Actor Michael Caine, a Brit like Orwell, must feel like he is living in an Orwellian world. I do. If you don’t, you’re not paying attention.

Caine’s 1964 film “Zulu” was put on a U.K. government list of works that may “encourage” extremism, according to the Daily Mail. The film is said to incite the far right.

The move infuriated Caine. During an email interview with The Spectator, Caine responded to the move with, “That is the biggest load of bulls*** I have ever heard.”

“Zulu” focuses on a single battle in the Anglo-Zulu War. The war pitted the British against the Zulu Kingdom in what is now South Africa. The battle, which took place in 1879, is the Battle of Rorke’s Drift. It’s famous because 150 British soldiers successfully held off 4,000 Zulu warriors. Soldiers were awarded a record number of 11 Victoria Crosses for their valor.

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Caine was 31 when the film came out, according to the Mail. He played the haughty Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, who at first dismissed the Zulu’s fierceness before coming to his senses. It was Caine’s first major screen role and launched a fruitful career in which he would receive two Oscars (when the award still meant something).

The battle is reminiscent of some of the other great battles in the history of West, the Battles of Thermopylae (480 BC), Lepanto (1571 AD) and, here in America, the Alamo (1836) to name a few. In all of these battles, a few stood against many. They highlighted the most important of the virtues, courage. Without it, all other virtues are jeopardized.

Courage and heroism encourage extremism? Extreme what? Excellence? We seem to be in short supply of that these days, and need a lot more of it.

Is the left trying to cancel the West?

A taxpayer-funded February report by the British Prevent Research Information and Communications Unit mentioned the film and described how far-right extremists promoted “reading lists” on online bulletin boards, according to the Mail.

The report included “The Lord Of The Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien, Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” Joseph Conrad’s “The Secret Agent” and Orwell’s own “1984” among others.  I guess the Orwellian leftists don’t want their playbook being read by those of us who see it not as a blueprint to power but a dire warning against totalitarianism.

The craziness doesn’t stop there. Some of the greatest books ever written in any language were included on the list. All of Shakespeare, Milton’s “Paradise Lost” and Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” were named. They even placed the epic poem “Beowulf” — which is to England what the “Iliad” is to the Greeks — on their infernal list.

After reading the report, historian and broadcaster Andrew Roberts said, “This is truly extraordinary. This is the reading list of anyone who wants a civilized, liberal, cultured education,” according to the Mail. By liberal, Roberts obviously didn’t mean woke, but well-read.

Caine wasn’t the only one outraged. The leader of the Zulu tribe, Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, now 94, acted the part of his great-grandfather King Cetshwayo in the “Zulu”.  He told The Times that the film should not be scrutinized under a 21st-century bias.

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“Even if the past is uncomfortable,” Buthelezi said, “and perhaps especially when the past is uncomfortable, it needs to be examined and unpacked rather than hidden away. Of course race is a central theme in the film.”

“When we filmed Zulu,” he continued, “both black and white were recreating a part of history that held tremendous meaning for all of us. Rorke’s Drift was only one battle. It was preceded by Isandlwana, the greatest military victory of an African nation against the British, and it was followed by the Battle of Ulundi, where our nation was defeated and subjugated.”

Despite all of that, “There is still a king on the throne of King Cetshwayo and millions of black South Africans still honor our culture and traditions,” Buthelezi continued. “Whenever that past is remembered it should always be a celebration of our ongoing fight, and victory, against division. That is worth thinking about, as that is the present-day context of the film Zulu.”

The British could learn something from Buthelezi. The West should honor its culture and traditions, not censor them. You have to take the bad with the good when looking at history. If you don’t, it’s not history — it’s propaganda.

We in the U.S. can learn a thing or two as well. The Alamo is a national symbol of courage. If we forget that or cover it up, soon enough the Wokenistas will ban the film versions and cut it out of the history books. They’ll censor anything that doesn’t conform to their totalitarian scheme. Why? Because if they can control the past, they will control the future.

The left is trying to cancel the West. They must be stopped. Everything good depends on it.

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Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.
Jack Gist is an award-winning writer who has published essays, poetry and fiction in Catholic World Report, First Things, The Imaginative Conservative, New Oxford Review and others.