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Beat the Drum
Beat the Drum
Actors: Mary Twala, Clive Scott, Nthati Moshesh, Junior Singo, Owen Sejake
Director: David Hickson
Genres: Drama, Television
NR     2007     1hr 54min

A young, orphaned boy sets out for the big city to find his uncle after a mysterious illness strikes his village. Driven by his determination to survive and his growing social awareness, he finds a way to make an honest li...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mary Twala, Clive Scott, Nthati Moshesh, Junior Singo, Owen Sejake
Director: David Hickson
Creators: Lance Gewer, Klaus Badelt, Ramin Djawadi
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama
Studio: Z Productions LLC
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/20/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2003
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 54min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Beautiful and Sad. I Cried for Africa.
Jonathan Stephens | Huntington Beach, CA USA | 06/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Every once in a while a film comes along that really says something that matters. Recommended from another writer's book on poverty and social change along with BLOOD DIAMOND and TSOTSI, I picked up the film. It employed purely African actors and film crews, besides the director, out of a purposeful effort. BEAT THE DRUM ended up being one of those films that matters. Enjoy.

Set in southern Africa near Jo'burg, the story follows the journeys of a young boy named Musa. His mother and cousins have all died from the curse, but when his father dies from it at the beginning of the film, he is doomed to be known as the boy from the cursed family. He leaves his small village and heads to Jo'burg to look for his uncle and buy a cow for his grandmother, a journey which leads him into danger on the streets of the big city as he scraps for money and food amid the street riffraff.

The secondary storylines follow an older truck driver who is on the road a lot, whose wife does not trust that he is faithful while away and worries he'll give her AIDS. The owner of the truck driving company has a son who he learns is dying of AIDS, but doesn't want to face the truth of the disease's lack of favoritism.

The film puts faces and stories to the disease that is ravaging the African continent. There is much fear and ignorance surrounding the disease. People don't want to talk about it. Using local spiritists, they'd rather call on their ancestors for help than listen to the local medical workers. Some of them even want to spread the disease out of spite for the persons who gave it to them. The situation is dire, yet knowledge of the situation seems scarce enough in America. Not only does BEAT THE DRUM give a necessary voice to the voiceless Africans, it puts forward fantastic acting jobs and cinematography. The film is beautiful and sad, and while watching, I cried for Africa.

---Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens"
Hold Your Tears and Step to the Beat
Caesar M. Warrington | Lansdowne, PA United States | 06/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Junior Singo does an absolutely excellent job portraying 10-year-old Musa, a Zulu boy who's lost his parents to AIDS, and takes up the his remaining family's burdens by leaving a dying village to find both work and an uncle in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Produced in 2002, BEAT The DRUM has earned dozens of awards and praise reviews for its uplifting message of hope and determination against the twin evils of poverty and ignorance which enable the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that's so far killed 30 million Africans, and left over 15 million children orphaned and on the street.

Despite some scenes and situations which will undoubtedly disturb sensitive and comfortable audiences (such as the villagers' resort to animal sacrifice and the raping of children in their desperation to "cure" themselves of what they believe to be a curse), BEAT The DRUM provides a handsome face and a strong spirit as a symbol of Africa's present struggles. It is a film I much recommend."
A Must See
Betty Rushford | Chattanooga, TN | 11/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have seen this film several times while flying overseas. I'm anxiously awaiting it's release in the States to purchase several copies. Having lost a son to AIDS I know firsthand the struggles the patients and their families endure. I'm also a missionary to several African countries and know the magnitude of the stigma and suffering. Whether you're affected by this disease or not, this is a heart-warming story that you won't want to miss. It's an eye opener to the facts surrounding this disease in that part of the world."
Beat The Drum---captures all aspects
Kovenne Compaan | Minneapolis, MN USA | 01/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This film is so well done. It captures all the different aspects the face many Africans dealing with the AIDS virus...from the lack of education and knowledge in the village to the issues of prostitution and poverty in the cities. We used it as the foundation for a curriculum on HIV/AIDS education in Zambia, Africa and with every question or situation from the students we were always able to reference back to the movie. It is educational, entertaining and will definately move your spirit."