BEAT THE DRUM Movie Review, Brett A.

Beat the Drum is a movie about the spreading AIDs pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa. This disease as of June 2008 has left 12 million African children orphans. 30 million people in sub-Saharan Africa have tested HIV positive. This Movie has increased awareness of the issue and has deffinatly “Beat the Drum” about AIDs.
The Movie “Beat the Drum” stars a young boy named Musa whose parents both died of the AIDs disease. The character Musa is committed to finding his uncle in the city and raising enough money to buy his grandmother another cow. I loved this character because of his overwhelming dedication and generosity. He worked and survived on the streets of a dangerous city to help his family. Another of my favorite characters is Nobe. Musa sneaks on to his truck while he is on his way to the city. When Nobe discovers this he hesitates but brings Musa with him into the city. Nobe’s thoughts about Musa changed very quickly. He became a father figure for Musa. This worked perfectly in the film because Nobe always wanted a son, but only had daughters. Also Musa had just lost his father, so he was very vulnerable to fall in to the hands of another male adult. It just happened to be a very suitable man for Musa. Even though they are not together a lot of the time through the movie they have the closest relationship. I really liked the father son relationship between the two characters. One other important character is a girl named “T.”  All though she is only in the movie for a total of about 10 minutes she plays a huge role in the plot. T was living on the streets as well. Her and Musa met. They quickly became great friends, but in reality they are opposite people. T believed to survive she had to lie and steal, while Musa worked hard for the money he got. I believe T took the place of Musa’s little cousin in his life when he moved to the big city. Much like Nobe took the place of his father. This shows that Musa was able to find family in the city. This foreshadows that he might also be able to find a home in the city as well.
A part of the movie I really enjoyed was the sound track and scenery. These two components are what really make a movie. The movie starts with beautiful shots of Africa, the plains and the mountains, also the people in their village. This sets the mood for the film. Also the shot where the giraffe crosses the path that Musa is walking is really cool. It makes the viewer think, “Wow, giraffes just running around? This really is Africa.” For people who don’t see things like that every day it is really amazing and almost beautiful to see. Not only is the African scenery very cool but also how the scenery transitions from the wild to the city. This shows the other side of African culture. It’s not all just little villages and tribes living off of each other and the land, there’s also establishment and urban culture just like in America. That’s very important that that was portrayed in the movie; and they did it very well.
I don’t know what is about music in movies, but it always gets to me. The music in this movie was a really nice touch to the plot. A very heart felt and powerful soundtrack. This gave the movie a very following feel. Also the part in the church when the whole group of people started singing together was awesome. It was exactly what the man was talking about just before. It was the town coming together as a unit and having faith that they could get through the epidemic of AIDs and HIV. All of them together singing that beautiful African music really touches the viewer. It was a very short part of the movie but also a very moving one.
One thing this movie does very well is portraying both sides of the African population. The AIDs isn’t just affecting the African population, but also the white population as well. A man and his son, Stefan Botha, worked owned a truck stop in the city. Mr. Botha was a very stuck up man. When Musa first arrives in the city he wants to wash Mr. Botha’s windows for money. He just rolls up his window and ignores him. He soon later realized that his son Stefan had the AIDs virus. Stefan died soon after. He was so shocked and hurt he didn’t know what to do. After all this Musa again came up and washed Mr. Botha’s windows. This time he didn’t ignore him. Instead he let him wash the window and then gave him a good amount of change. This shows how loosing a loved one can change a person. Also this shows how the HIV virus does not discriminate, it affects everyone and anyone. From a small village in a rural location where it effected the poor Africans, all the way to the city, where it effected the rich white population.
“Beat the Drum” was a fantastic film that portrayed the seriousness of the HIV/AIDs virus. From the characters, to the scenery, to the plot, this movie was an all around amazing film. I recommend this film for anybody. It not only informs and raises awareness, but it does so in a very enjoyable and interesting way.


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