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Duma (2005)

PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family  |  27 May 2005 (UK)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 5,957 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 43 user | 36 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

An orphaned cheetah becomes the best friend and pet of a young boy living in South Africa.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Xan (as Alexander Michaletos)
...
Peter
Mary Makhatho ...
Thandi
Nthabiseng Kenoshi ...
Lucille
...
Kristin
Jennifer Steyn ...
Aunt Gwen
Nicky Rebelo ...
Coach Nagy
Garth Renecle ...
Hock Bender
André Stolz ...
Xan's Teacher
Charlotte Savage ...
Poetry Student
Ronald Shange ...
Policeman
...
Ripkuna
Nadia Kretschmer ...
Tourist #1
John Whiteley ...
Tourist #2
Clive Scott ...
Tourist #3 - Eager Man
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Storyline

During a nightly Porsche ride with his doting rascal Xan, white South African farmer Peter finds and adopts an orphaned cheetah cub, dubbed Duma (just Swahili for cheetah). It becomes the boy's inseparable playmate, even taking it to bed. Peter made clear from the start that the cheetah should be returned to the wild before its full adulthood. But the father is stricken down with a disease just before the cheetah could be returned. Xan's mother sells the farm and moves in with a city aunt. The cheetah escapes, but finds Xan at school, where the new boy is bullied. He decides to run away to the mountains with Duma. On the way they face countless perils, which courage, Xan's intelligence and Duma's instinct overcome. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cheetah | boy | africa | bed | south africa | See All (33) »

Taglines:

Some friendships are wilder than others.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild adventure peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How It Was with Dooms  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$105,422 (USA) (30 September 2005)

Gross:

$860,002 (USA) (28 October 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Ripkuna: Your cheetah is a great hunter. I'm very impressed... he caught an egg!
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Connections

Referenced in Movie Friends: Prashant Prabhakar (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Share It With Me
Written and Performed by Ayub Ogada & Ishmael Pamphille'
Courtesy of Real World Works Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

Splendid is everything . . .
19 December 2005 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"Nature breaks through the eyes of the cat." Irish proverb

With the emergence of digitized everything, photography of the actual thing is now the amazement. Splendid is everything visualized in Duma, the story of a young South African boy, Xan (Alex Michaeletos) who brings up an orphaned cheetah, Duma, to the day when his father (Campbell Scott) decides it is perilously close to the time when Duma couldn't survive in the wild.

And so, about the time they are to return Duma to his world, Xan becomes a sort of orphan himself because dad dies and leaves Xan and his mother with a big ranch to tend. As predictable as the right of passage story that ensues with Xan taking Duma back, there is a freshness of simplicity and beauty, joy and sorrow that overwhelms the clichés and makes you eager to go back to animal stories of early film, like Old Yeller, where the pets are as human than their masters and make real the abstract idea of Nature.

An unusual care for lens and animal is palpable from director Carroll Ballard and cinematographer Werner Meritz, unforgettable even. The four cheetahs used for Duma are as often lensed close up as they are in long shots, beautifully stretching their sixty-mile –an-hour legs.

With the consistency director Carroll Ballard showed in the acclaimed Fly Away Home, he weaves the theme of abandonment and reconciliation into every major scene: Even the enigmatic intruder Rip (Eamon Walker) has exiled himself from his tribe and is now returning home, cruising the river with Xan like Huck and Jim. That eventually animals and humans must take up their responsibilities is also present almost from the first frame.

Nothing new here, just a good old-fashioned pet tale, which never is boring for me, a perpetual boy with an English major's tendency to see poetry in a landscape or a cheetah's eye.

"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." Wordsworth


22 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Were any animals harmed in the filming of Duma? cherryblossom007
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