GHOST FLEET: THE EPIC VOYAGE OF ZHENG HE - THE GREATEST EXPLORER YOU NEVER HEARD OF.
A Muslim castrated as a young boy in China, this man would still serve his nation with total loyalty. Zheng He: China's Greatest Admiral who may have discovered America even before Columbus. A man of peace whose fleet had half the world in his grasp and the other half within easy reach. And a leader whose giant Treasure Fleet suddenly vanished because of a colossal mistake.
600 years ago, China emerges from an age of darkness - with the biggest naval fleet ever assembled. It will forge a new path across unknown oceans, led by a towering Admiral -- 100 years before Columbus. And China will stand as the world's undisputed superpower. But in time, this supreme leader would be brought to an end by a catastrophic decision. What happened?
Join National Geographic photographer Mike Yamashita as he retraces Admiral Zheng He's epic journeys and discover how China's internal struggles turned this Admiral's forces into a ghost fleet, and setback this great nation for hundreds of years.
From the breathtaking opening shots of the African Swahili coast, this film is cinematic celebration of timeless beauty. Medieval Yemeni hilltop towns, ancient martial arts portrayed with balletic artistry, brutal religious piercings and the incomparable majesty of Perahera, all contribute to a pallet of rarely equaled cultural diversity.
From the eerie castration of the young hero to his final faltering steps in the Forbidden City as his enemies close in like vultures around carrion, the historical recreations about the life of Zheng He are executed with the grandeur and distance of a renaissance painting.
In tracing the voyages of the great fleet and its enigmatic leader, 'Ghost Fleet' brings the past alive through its observant narrator Mike Yamashita, and brings the documentary film into the realm of the epic feature.
This 2-hour documentary was shot on 16 mm film. Its initial airing: Dec 2005 on National Geographic Channel Asia.
Winner at the Asian TV Awards 2006: Best Cinematography, Best Original Music Score