Filmed in English and Dutch versions, Building a Nation is a patriotic history of South Africa from its discovery in the 15th century to the "present" (1939, that is). Several historical personages walk through the action, notably Transvaal leader Paul "Ohm" Kruger (Dick Cruikshank) and the martyred Piet Retief (Myles Bourke). The plundering of South Africa for its gold and diamond resources is barely touched upon, except to point out the "vital reasons" that Europe must sustain its vested interests in South Africa. Likewise, at no point does the film suggest that the country could govern itself without Dutch or British intervention. Shaky as history, Building a Nation is best viewed within the context of its times.
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