Duma (2005)



Critic Consensus: This is an old-fashioned, richly textured family film that will appeal to children and adults alike.

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Movie Info

When 10-old Xan and his father Peter come across an orphaned cheetah cub, they name their new friend "Duma," the Swahili name for cheetah, and he quickly becomes a member of the family. But, when Duma is almost fully grown, to Xan's dismay, his father tells him that it's time to take his friend to his real home before he grows too old to survive in his native habitat. Xan reluctantly agrees, but their plans must be put on hold when his father suddenly falls ill and Xan and his mother must move to Johannesburg. When Duma escapes and pays a disastrous visit to Xan's school, the two of them must flee the city to keep Duma from being put into captivity. Not knowing where to go, Xan gets an idea -- he'll carry out the plan his dad had outlined, taking Duma home to a safe and lush place hundreds of miles across South Africa, over the scorching Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, through the Okavango Delta and into the Erongo Mountains. Entering the lush jungles of the Okavango Delta, Xan finds himself surrounded by danger -- lions, crocodiles and deadly poisonous creatures. But it's far too late to turn back now as Xan faces the true test of love, attempting to cross the wilds to return his best friend to his rightful home.
PG (for mild adventure peril)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Mary Makhatho
as Thandi
Hope Davis
as Kristin
Jennifer Steyn
as Aunt Gwen
Nicky Rebelo
as Coach Nagy
Garth Renecle
as Hock Bender
Andre Stolz
as Xan's Teacher
Charlotte Savage
as Poetry Student
Ronald Shange
as Policeman
Eamonn Walker
as Ripkuna
Nadia Kretschmer
as Tourist #1
John Whiteley
as Tourist #2
Clive Scott
as Tourist #3
Catriona Andrew
as Tourist #4
Errol Ballantine
as White Haired Doctor
Michele Levin
as Doctor's Wife
Sam Nagakane
as Old Man In Village
Adelaide Shabalala
as Medicine Woman
Thokozani Ndaba
as Rip's Wife
Wright Ngubane
as Rip's Son
Bernard Msimang
as Rip's Father
Ivy Nkutha
as Rip's Mother
as Duma
as Duma
Billy Shebar
as Young Duma
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Critic Reviews for Duma

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (28)

It's a crime what happened to the wonderful African wilderness movie Duma in 2005. Beautifully directed by veteran Carroll Ballard, Duma fell flat in the United States because of bad timing and abysmal marketing.

Full Review… | February 8, 2008
Denver Post
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

For those wishing they still made films like The Black Stallion, today is your lucky day.

Full Review… | March 31, 2006
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Visually panoramic, a film that revels in making the expanse of a beautiful place palpable.

Full Review… | March 30, 2006
Washington Post
Top Critic

Too suspenseful for the youngest children, but for anyone older than 8 or 9, it evokes nothing less than awe at the harsh beauty of the natural world.

Full Review… | March 17, 2006
Boston Globe
Top Critic

With ravenous alligators and lions on the prowl, Duma delivers familiar adventure, but Ballard refuses to cater to cuteness.

Full Review… | March 3, 2006
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Duma

This hugely emotional film is perfect. It has an absolutely beautiful atmosphere and is rich with beautiful scenery, cinematography and acting talents crossed with strong, heartwarming and absolutely cherishable emotional depth. It has some of the best child acting i've ever seen in the history of my time deeply involved in my interest of films and is a modern classic that flows smoothly with a perfect script variety of darkness, brightness, humour and scares. But most amazingly for a film of the newest generation, Duma has a classic feel to it and is not afraid to be to smart for its own good.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


FANTASTIC! Why don't more people love this movie? Wonderfully done, brilliant soundtrack, beautiful story, superb acting... So freakin' AMAZING! Everyone should see this cute little film.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

it was ok not great but ok

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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