Friday, December 22, 2006

Beat The Drum

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

Ralph

5 comments:

Stan Langerhaus said...

O shame to men! Devil with Devil damn'd
Firm concord holds, men onely disagree
Of Creatures rational, though under hope
Of heavenly Grace: and God proclaiming peace,
Yet live in hatred, enmitie, and strife
Among themselves, and levie cruel warres,
Wasting the Earth, each other to destroy:
As if (which might induce us to accord)
Man had not hellish foes anow besides,
That day and night for his destruction waite.

John Milton - "Paradise Lost - Book Two"

DocTorDee said...

Old John Milton, the organ voice of England. The man who made Satan into such an attractive character that he [Satan] entered the English consciousness as a popular hero...his writing about strife just about says it all.

My thought is that it goes to show you when we meet an Earthly situation with judgement instead of empathy, the entire human race suffers.

When AIDS first came to public attention, it was viewed as only a gay man's problem and some even argued that it was sent by Yawveh to punish gay men. Such a reductionist mentality only serves the god of suffering and death. It does not serve the god of life.

My ongoing argument is that mythologies need to not only be expansive, they must be expandible. They must enable us to continuously deal with the emergence of the life force in real time.

Our mythologies should not reduce the natural emergence of the life force (God) to an ethical judgement.

In other words, there is no right and wrong in outer space, it just IS.

To Ralph's original post: The situation in Africa needs attention, and I know that Bono from U2 is launching a campaign based on buying red t-shirts from The Gap. Half of the proceeds go to providing medication and education to the people of Africa.

Ralph said...

Intersting point in the movie was how the medication and education that is available was largely ignored... I'm not sure what that has to do with Satan... but I guess somewhat to Stan's point, if we don't kill each other with wars, something else will.

Stan Langerhaus said...

R, that is precisely the point.

I remember watching a group of male Thompson Gazelles sparring and jousting for dominance and the privileges thereof, as they are genetically programmed to do. All the while oblivious to the pride of lions encirling them. The gazelles' horns are useful enough in their own rituals, but against the lions, even the dominant male was pathetically helpless.

How different are we? We concoct religions, prejudices, politics, wars and the justifications of wars, and all the while what are we oblivious to? From whence comes our end, while we looking at something else? And why?

Ralph said...

Why Pinto?
(Burb.) Why not?