Joy Adamson and her husband, Kenya game warden George Adamson, raise Elsa, a lion cub. When Elsa approaches maturity, Joy determines she must re-educate Elsa to living in the wild so that ... See full summary »
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
[observing Peter as he is biting a flower]
What on earth are you doing?
Well, this is simple. You just grab a shaker, fill it up, stuff in the flower and you have... a bottle.
[brings a bowl of milk]
Here you are.
[pours the milk into a pepper shaker and straps the flower to it]
[the cub bites him]
Ah! He's feisty, dad.
See if this helps.
[hands Xan the bottle and clicks his tongue to coax the cub]
[the cub begins to drink a little bit]
Hey, he's drinking it!
[...] See more »
This film was a rare pleasure to behold, much like the joy I experienced in September 1993 at the Toronto International Film Festival screening of "SIRGA: L'infant Lion" (yet to be released on DVD in North America although released in Germany a few years ago). There are deeper messages here and these are truly welcome, unlike so much of the swill that passes for family entertainment these days. As much as I enjoyed "Two Brothers" (Jean-Jacques Annaud) recently, I do prefer this film by a director whose last film I enjoyed at the Toronto Festival some 8+ years ago - "Fly Away Home".
The journey taken by the 12 year old boy reminds me somewhat of the journey taken by a slightly younger lad and his sister in the also-compelling early 70s Nicholas Roeg film "Walkabout" which I also highly recommend if you like nature-type films (or should I say "au natural" type films ... ha ha). I rate this one 9 out of 10.
Anyway make sure you get to see this once it comes to your part of the world either theatrically or, likelier on DVD.
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