I had the opportunity recently to see this wonderful movie - Beat The Drum. It's about a little boy in South Africa, whose whole family is wiped out by AIDS, and how he was to deal with it, and ultimately, how the whole African continent, I guess, is going to, or is dealing with, AIDS. The movie was made in 2003, so maybe a few things have changed, but this was one of the most tragic stories I've ever seen. Both his parents are dead - his father, on his deathbed gives this 11-year-old a drum, which is symbolic as the instrument used to let people know about AIDS. The theme of the movie is that Africans deny the existence of AIDS, considering it a curse, and as a result shut any preventative measures and spread the disease. Practices such as a brother marrying his deceased sibling's wife, even if he died of AIDS, and grown men suffering from AIDS raping pre-pubescent girls because they think sex with a virgin will cure them, are touched upon. The whole thing is tragic and focuses a lot on the plight of the orphans this epidemic is creating. This poor kid in the movie has to hitchike to Johannesburg and work cleaning windows of stopped cars to support himself. And he's doing better than a lot of his compatriots...
I broke down crying like six times. I think the guy sitting next to me on the plane must have thought I flipped. This was a heckuva film on many levels - although a bit preachy, but still I felt it was a noble attempt (on a low-budget) at conveying a valuable message - something rarely done in Hollywood (this, of course, was an Inde flick). Anyway, I wanted to share this art with some friends and relatives but have been unable to find anyplace locally or on-line to rent or buy this movie. According to its Web site, the movie won like 30 awards. So, why can't I find it? But, I can find 30 copies of the Legend of Bobby Whatever (a pretty funny movie actually) at my local video store. That's fucked up.
Cheers. Merry XMas