As moms who grew up watching "Born Free", weeping into wads of tissue paper, we love being able to introduce our children to an equally bittersweet tale about wildness that can't be tamed. Directed by the legendary director Carroll Ballard, Duma tells the story of a boy who raises a cheetah cub and then, after his father's death, crosses the Kalahari Desert to release the adult cat into the wild. Ballard, who also directed Black Stallion, Never Cry Wolf and Fly Away Home, is masterful at using the camera to explore the relationship between children and animals. We found ourselves clutching tissues again, this time holding them to our childrens' noses. The boy and cheetah made such excellent travel companions that we spent an afternoon touring a Wildlife Rescue Station near our home. Watching bobcats and snakes being rehabilitated made us happy to only have a dog and a fish tank to worry about!
Click here for more on Ballard, a few red flags about this film, and a link to an animal rescue station near you.