Parents' Guide to

Meerkat Moonship

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Poignant South African drama about death, fear, friendship.

Movie NR 2018 96 minutes
Meerkat Moonship Poster Image

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This poignant, sometimes melancholy South African drama doesn't shy away from tackling some of kids' biggest fears -- particularly death. Meerkat Moonship doesn't sugarcoat its story, though it does balance the sad parts with enough smile-inducing, whimsical moments to avoid getting completely stuck in the darker elements. But it's in taking Gideonette's fears as seriously as it does that the film really succeeds. Neither the adults in her life nor the film itself ever condescend to her; she's able to express how she's feeling, and she's given lots of time and space to heal.

Du Plessis turns in a strong performance as the grieving girl -- she may be watchful and often silent on the outside, but her internal monologue is going a mile a minute. The cast in general is strong; Ntuli's turn as Bhubesi is completely endearing, and his scenes of blossoming friendship with Gideonette are some of the movie's sweetest. They may seem like an unlikely pair, but each helps the other in important ways, and the strength of their connection underlines the movie's message of unconditional friendship. It's not always easy to watch, but Meerkat Moonship has important take-aways for kids and could be a great pick for tweens dealing with their own losses.

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