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



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


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) »


Some friendships are wilder than others.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild adventure peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 May 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

How It Was with Dooms  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$860,002 (USA) (28 October 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Duma is played by 6 different Cheetahs. All orphaned or poached Cheetahs themselves; were hand raised in different parts of Africa. See more »


Xan: [observing Peter as he is biting a flower] What on earth are you doing?
Peter: Well, this is simple. You just grab a shaker, fill it up, stuff in the flower and you have... a bottle.
Tourist #1: [brings a bowl of milk] Here you are.
Peter: Cheers!
[pours the milk into a pepper shaker and straps the flower to it]
Xan: [the cub bites him] Ah! He's feisty, dad.
Peter: See if this helps.
[hands Xan the bottle and clicks his tongue to coax the cub]
Xan: [the cub begins to drink a little bit] Hey, he's drinking it!
Peter: Good.
See more »


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


A Cup of Coffee, A Sandwich and You
Written by Joseph Meyer, Billy Rose, and Al Dubin
See more »

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User Reviews

Wonderful! Dramatic and entertaining enough for adults, it also captures the grace and magic possible with real human-animal relationships
12 June 2005 | by (Great Pacific Northwest) – See all my reviews

This movie is so good, I wonder why it is in such limited release? At least in Wales, it only plays for two showings each weekend. Anyway--- I like animal movies, generally. Even those that stray into a bit of the fantasy, such as 'Bingo', and 'Two Brothers', can be enjoyable and charming.

'Duma' was delightful. I have not read about the making of the movie, but they did use real cheetahs. Some kittens, adolescents, and maybe adults, too. I found the representations of the human-cheetah relationship entirely believable. And even though this is a 'family' movie, and suitable for 12 year-olds, it was also solid enough to get an adult through it as well. The peril is plausible, the characters' motivations and behaviors seem reasonable.

Overall, the movie worked well enough as a movie--- entertaining, dramatic, etc. But more, and the reason I gave it a 10 out of 10, is the movie also seemed to portray the charm, grace, and dignity of a truly great relationship a human can have with an animal. That, placed in the movie-world context of family drama and human enterprise, is a wonderful and magical thing.

46 of 50 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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our Cheetahs thank you ndlovu8
Our Cheetahs in adverts js114
DVD? aj25900
It's working Chicago! DUMA crowds are growing! 1222
What, no CGI in this movie??? billtei
Were any animals harmed in the filming of Duma? cherryblossom007
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