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Duma (2005)

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

Director:

Carroll Ballard

Writers:

Carol Cawthra Hopcraft (book), Xan Hopcraft (book) | 4 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Taglines:

Some friendships are wilder than others.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild adventure peril | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 2005 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

How It Was with Dooms See more »

Filming Locations:

Botswana See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$105,422, 2 October 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$860,002, 30 October 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

[last lines]
Xan: [voiceover narration] There are things you know without knowing. For Duma, it was his wildness. For Rip, his family. For me, it was my dad. Everything he was, everything he believed in is now part of me. I was taking Duma home, but he took me somewhere too. Finding Duma's true home brought me back to mine and showed me that love doesn't stop when time passes or you live in different places or somebody's gone. That's how it was with me and Duma.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Kaboyi, Kaboyi (Woodpecker)
Traditional Swazi Song
Arranged by Philip Miller
Performed by Nana
Courtesy of Worldgoround Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A pleasant surprise
19 June 2005 | by desh79See all my reviews

I have no idea why this movie got such a small-scale cinema release. It certainly can't have anything to do with the quality of the film. I was surprised by Duma, because it's an extremely well-directed film which treats its audience with far more respect and intelligence than a lot of so-called "family" fare available. Also, as opposed to many films with animal protagonists, Duma doesn't treat them as objects of half-witted hokey slapstick fun, but instead makes the entire friendship between human and animal seem extremely touching and authentic.

In a way there is something almost Miyazaki -esque about this movie, in that it draws you into the narrative not with half-baked nudge nudge wink wink references which only adults will understand, but through its intelligence and excellent sense of drama alone; not to mention the great performances by Eamonn Walker and Alexander Michaeletos - two names to look out for in the future if their performances here are anything to go by. At any rate, Duma is one of the few cases where the possibly over-used moniker "A film for all ages" definitely applies. Recommended if you can find it.


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