Beat the Drum | Chicago Reader

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Like Alexander McKendrick's A Boy Ten Feet Tall (1963), this moving 2003 coming-of-age story follows an orphan who sets off alone across Africa in search of a relative living in the big city. After seeing his family decimated by a “curse” no shaman can lift, an eight-year-old Zulu (Junior Singo) heads for Johannesburg as AIDS sweeps the countryside, its spread abetted by ignorance and indifference. Cinematographer Lance Gewer's wide-screen visuals are a knockout, and the impressive cast delivers; David Hickson directed. In English and subtitled Zulu. 113 min.

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