Free Life

Duma Xan

Duma is a 2005 film directed by Carroll Ballard.
©Warner Bros. Pictures

Xan’s life changed forever. He didn’t change his path; he walked on the path that was meant for him.

Everything revealed slowly and transformed him and made him aware. Xan cared for Duma, loved Duma to an extent that he started understanding him completely.

Though he accepted it only at the last moment, he somewhere always knew that Duma deserves to live a free life.

The laughs, the games, the tears, the silent talks were soon going to be nothing but shared moments stored in an old box kept somewhere in the past.

All Xan knew was that he could open that box anytime and relive those memories – memories of his late father and his lovely friend, Duma.

Xan often thought about Duma and the time they said goodbye to each other. At first, he was skeptical, he thought Duma might be upset with him for leaving, but then, he realised that it was the right thing to do.

He closed his eyes and saw Duma’s eyes –big, beautiful, and alive. Xan was hit by a gust of wind which slowly tried to calm him down and stayed with him until he smiled.

He told himself, ‘Duma must be with his friends right now, going down to the riverside or maybe already there… relaxing under the shade.’  

Xan and Duma.
The film is based on a children’s book How it Was with Dooms
that tells the true story of a young boy’s friendship with an orphaned Cheetah.
©Warner Bros. Pictures

Duma is sitting on a tree branch, one of his friends is sitting nearby and the other one is strolling in the bushes, just like that.

The sun rays are not falling on Duma, but his eyes are shining nevertheless. He can see Xan.    

Watch the trailer now

While these questions circle uneasily in our minds, “Duma” creates scenes of wonderful adventure. The stalled motorcycle is turned into a wind-driven land yacht. A raft trip on a river involves rapids and crocodiles. The cheetah itself plays a role in their survival. And the movie takes on an additional depth because Xan is not a cute one-dimensional “family movie” child, and Ripkuna is freed from the usual cliches about noble and helpful wanderers. These are characters free to hold surprises in the real world.

Roger Ebert, the film critic.
Read his review of Duma here.

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