South Africa and Beyond
The declaration of war against Britain by the Boer republics in October 1899 led to an empire-wide military mobilization, and encouraged many film producers, including Paul, to send cameras to the Cape. Realising that the results would hardly satisfy audience interest, Paul staged reproductions of typical battlefield incidents in North London, while also offering a range of patriotic and sentimental war-related films. His extended 1900 documentary Army Life was apparently intended to stimulate recruitment during the conflict, in which his own brothers served. Other distant wars that prompted production by Paul included the 1900 Boxer rebellion in China, and a series of fictional films about the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-5, reflecting widespread British support for Japan, while several films about the repression of the 1905 uprising in Russia indicated a corresponding suspicion of Britain’s old adversary.
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