If you haven’t had a chance to watch “Beat the Drum” yet, I highly recommend it!
It shares an understanding (a bit) of the culture in Africa, especially in handling illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS. Through Musa, a little boy, we get an up close glimpse at what the orphans there face far beyond the grief of loss in countries such as South Africa.
The movie opens with beautiful scenes of landscape that reveals a land that is rich and alive, then zooms in on little Musa, (played by Junior Singo, an inspiring young actor), who is sitting by his Mother’s new grave. After a few moments of sitting with him in his grief, our attention is directed to his “grandmother” who calls him to get on with his chores and help with his father. The audience is invited to follow along and get a birds eye view of the difficult, tragic and fear-filled reality that many young children like Musa go through. Through his eyes, we also get glimpses of others like him who face even more dire circumstances.
The title of the movie: “Beat the Drum” carries the theme of the heartbeat of a continent filled with passion, strong belief and circumstances, many of which are brought on by a history of oppression by those hungry for power and wealth.
When I was in South Africa, a beautiful indigenous woman told said: ”the British came into our villages with the Bible in hand, in the end, they had all our land and we had Jesus!” The movie reveals a mix of Christian faith with cultural and tribal beliefs that muddle the understanding and suspicion of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Little Musa travels from his tiny village: “KwaZulu Natal” to Johannesburg in search for a way to replace a cow that had been sacrificed and to search for his Uncle. Imagine going from a small tribal village in the far off country to a city that is busy and bustling with activity, and corruption. Our little guy never wavers from his understanding of right and wrong, and his indomitable spirit doesn’t allow him to give up as he carries his drum wherever he goes. After he learns the truth about the epidemic, he returns with this to his elders.
Throughout many ups and downs, and heartbreak, this young man shows more strength than many of the adults he encounters along the way! This is a must see!