Duma is the name white South African youngster Xan (Alexander Michaletos) gives to an abandoned cheetah cub he and his father find on the edge of a reserve. The cheetah grows up on their secluded family ranch and everyone’s happy – until father ups and dies, forcing Xan, his mother and the big cat to move to the city. Unhappy from day one, Xan soon absconds with Duma and heads back into the wilderness, where a chance meeting with a nomadic ex-convict provides some filmic tension and a lesson in family values. Hard to believe this well-meaning animal adventure was directed by the usually competent Ballard. In contrast to ‘Fly Away Home’, ‘Duma’ is hamstrung by erratic editing, poor continuity, frigid performances and a story so predictable you can foresee the outcome by looking at the poster. Still, it looks suitably lush and the stringently rationed footage of the big cat at full stretch will bring a lump to the throat of any animal fan.