Published: 15:08, 26 June 2018
More than 10,000 people have hit out at 28 complainers who tried to get a screening of classic movie Zulu scrapped.
The 28 who signed the anti-Zulu petition - accusing it of being racist - have been attacked by thousands of angry fans.
But, according to organisers, they are standing by their decision to screen the beloved 1964 classic.
A poll on this website attracted an astonishing 12,000 votes - with 92% voting in favour of showing the film.
Fans of the festival were asked to pick between two classic 1960s war films during the armed forces charity screening, and Where Eagles Dare was pipped by the Stanley Baker film.
A spokesman for SSAFA added that airing the film could spark discussion about the film's "deeper themes."
“The local White Cliffs division of the Kent branch are hosting a film night to raise money for the Armed Forces community," she explained.
“A vote was held on social media to decide which film would be shown, either Where Eagles Dare or Zulu. Members of the public voted for Zulu to be shown.
“This is a light-hearted fundraiser for an important cause.
“Whilst the film has caused some discussion in more recent times, it is important not to gloss over parts of our history that make us feel uncomfortable.
“Rather than censoring a subject, a viewing could form a basis for discussion about the deeper themes in the film.”
Despite detractors claiming the film is racist, there are only three slight racial epithets used in the entire 130-minute-long show - and one is directed against the Irish.
Another 'slur' was quickly slapped down by another character, while the third was a soldier being called a "dozy Welshman" because he forgot his rifle.
The classic movie portrays the Zulu warriors as honourable combatants, whose overwhelming numbers are only narrowly defeated by the indefatigable British Empire forces.
Local Geoff Cadman said: "My great grandmother's brother was a soldier in the 1/24th Warwickshire Regiment and was killed at Isandlwana, so have I an inherited hatred of Zulus?
"Quite the opposite - magnificent and brave, so they were.
"All good wishes to the charity film show."
Writing online, Joanna Arman said: "Okay so we want to complain about Imperialism.
"The Zulus were not 'fighting the oppressors of their land'.
"In fact, Shaka Zulu was himself an expansionist Imperialist.
"The Zulu Empire he led in the 19th century forced out many other African tribes from the regions of their ancient settlement.
"Under his rule, the Zulus killed and enslaved other black South Africans of neighbouring clans and Kingdoms."
The 1964 classic will be aired at Folkestone’s Silver Screen Cinema on Saturday to raise aid for armed forces charity SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.
It is expected the crowd will be a sell-out and organisers hope they will be able to raise thousands of pounds.
Have you taken the poll yet?
An open letter was sent to the Mayor of Folkestone, Roger West, and district councillor Ann Berry, signed by 28 'people moaning about the film.
In it they said: "We wholeheartedly support the efforts being made to raise funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity.
“But we believe that the choice of the film Zulu, with its inaccurate portrayal of historical events and its distortions and racist overtones, could have a negative effect on relationships within the changing and richly diverse communities here in Folkestone.”
But Cllr Berry backed the film.
She said: "It’s just a film with a poetic licence, I’ve seen it many times and I don’t see the colour of people’s skin, I see a war between two countries.
“I’m a councillor, I can’t go around telling people what they can and can’t watch.
“And this event is for charity.
"No I wouldn’t try telling them not to watch it at all.”
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