This film is part of Free

Scene on Mr. N. Smit's Ostrich Farm, Impanzi, Natal, South Africa

A break from the Boer War as a travelling film camera brings footage of an exotic feeding time back to Britain

Non-Fiction 1900 2 mins


We're going to need a bigger bird seed! Joseph Rosenthal was a star cameraman for early film exhibitor Charles Urban, and was renowned for his war work. Dispatched to film the Anglo-Boer war from January to May 1900, he somehow find time to capture this, one of a pair of ostrich films sent back to Britain and reviewed in the trade press in March.

It was a boom period for commercial ostrich farming in South Africa. These fine birds were destined to be plucked and skinned for their feathers and leather, which were far more valuable commodities than their meat.