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The Gods Must Be Crazy

Ster-Kinekor Pictures, 1980; 20th Century Fox, 1984

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2004

Written, produced and directed by Jamie Uys (1921-1996)

Running Time: 109 minutes

Rated PG for violence, slight nudity and mild language.

"Aye yai yai yai yai..." - Dr. Andrew Steyn

Cast

N!xau (1943-2003) as Xi

Marius Weyers as Dr. Andrew Steyn

Sandra Prinsloo as Kate Thompson

Michael Thys as M'pudi

Louw Verwey as Sam Boga

Nic de Jager as Jack Hind

Paddy O'Byrne (1929-2013) as the Narrator

"The one characteristic which really makes the Bushmen different from all the other races on Earth is that they have no sense of ownership at all. Where they live, there's really nothing you CAN own: only trees and grass and animals. In fact, these Bushmen have never seen a stone or a rock in their lives. The hardest things they know are wood and bone. They live in a gentle world, where nothing is as hard as rock, steel or concrete.

"Lately, strange new things sometimes appeared in the sky: noisy birds that flew without flapping their wings."

Synopsis

Deep in the Kalahari Desert of Africa lives a peaceful Bushman tribe that has no concept of time, ownership, or law, as they believe the gods above have supplied everything for them. One day, while Xi is walking, an airplane drops an empty Coca-Cola glass bottle, which lands on the ground in front of him, leading the tribe to believe it as a gift from the gods. They find countless uses with the bottle, but because it is the only one available in the desert, it introduces selfishness, envy, anger, hate, and violence to the tribe. Seeing the bottle as a source of evil and unhappiness, Xi takes it and travels far to dispose of it at the edge of the world. During his journey, he meets the clumsy biologist Dr. Andrew Steyn and school teacher Kate Thompson before a band of guerrillas led by Sam Boga invade the school and hold Kate and the students hostage.

"Their language has an idiosyncrasy of its own. It seems to consist mainly of clicking sounds."

"The funny thing about these gods was that they couldn't speak. They could only make chattering sounds like monkeys."

Lowdown

It's amazing what one piece of garbage does to everyone around it. At the same time, it's amazing how such a simple film does wonders in showing the meaning of life in a rather obvious way. The Gods Must Be Crazy is heralded as one of the funniest films ever produced, but it's also one of the most educational non-documentary pieces. It shows how happy Bushmen are with their lives while "civilized men" are never content with their environment or their belongings. Both civilizations go on with their lives until a Coke bottle is introduced in the picture, causing a sudden clash of cultures that spans at least three countries. Just about everything works in this story - right down to the little random things such as Sam Boga's two henchmen who do nothing but play cards. Even Dr. Steyn's unreliable Land Rover is a character on its own, as it's a source of pure slapstick gold from Dr. Steyn's struggle to open and close border gates to Xi's driving lessons.

"Sometimes they hear a thundering sound when there are no clouds. They assume the gods have eaten too much and their tummies are rumbling. Sometimes they can even see the evidence of the gods' flatulence."

N!xau and the rest of the cast give stellar performances, but it's narrator Paddy O'Byrne who steals the show, as he gives witty and detailed narratives of Xi and the Bushmen's point of view. Through his voice, you can understand the Bushmen's way of life and how they depict "civilized men".

"That morning, Xi saw the ugliest person he'd ever come across. She was as pale as something that had crawled out of a rotting log. Her hair was quite gruesome; long and stringy and white, as if she was very old. She was very big - you'd have to dig the whole day to find enough food to feed her.

"Although it was a hot day, she was covering her body with skins that looked as if they were made from cobwebs. She was doing strange and magical things, and it struck him that she must be one of the gods. He wondered what she was doing down here on Earth. But he was glad he met her, because now he'd give the evil thing back to her and go home to his family. So he said tactfully that he didn't need the thing, and that she could have it back. But she was very rude, and she walked away."

Overall, The Gods Must Be Crazy is a great addition to anyone's DVD collection - even if you have to pay an ungodly price on Amazon.com or eBay.

Rating: A

References

The Internet Movie Database

Edited by areaseven

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Been a very long time since I've seen this classic. :) :thumbs up:

I think there is a sequel called "The Gods Must Be Crazy Too!"

Edited by renegadeleader1

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thanks for reminding me of this movie. I recalled there was a series of it. Some done by the US, some done by Hong Kong

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Been a very long time since I've seen this classic. :) :thumbs up:

I think there is a sequel called "The Gods Must Be Crazy Too!"

thanks for reminding me of this movie. I recalled there was a series of it. Some done by the US, some done by Hong Kong

Only the second film is an official sequel. The Hong Kong trilogy (Crazy Safari, Crazy in Hong Kong, and The Gods Must Be Funny in China) is a different canon, despite N!xau having starred in them (plus some supposed involvement by Jamie Uys and Paddie O'Byrne).

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I'm kinda shocked to see this here. Haven't seen this in ages, and I need to fix that.

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The Anti-Christ hanging from the tree still kills me today.

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I've never seen this movie....heard a lot of good things about it, but never got around to seeing it. Maybe I'll give it a try.

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I've never seen this movie....heard a lot of good things about it, but never got around to seeing it. Maybe I'll give it a try.

Same here. I remember when it used to come on cable when I was younger but I never paid it any attention.

-b.

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i thought they were doing a remake before i clicked. classic movie. haven't seen it in 15-20 years or so though. lol

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The Gods Must Be Crazy II
20th Century Fox, 1990
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2004
Directed by Jamie Uys (1921-1996)
Running Time: 98 minutes
Rated PG for violence and mild language.

Cast
N!xau (1943-2003) as Xixo
Eiros as Xixi
Nadies as Xisa
Hans Strydom as Dr. Stephen Marshall
Lana Farugia as Dr. Ann Taylor
Erick Bowen as Mateo
Treasure Tshabalala as Timi
Pierre Van Pletzen as George
Lourens Swanepoel as Big Ben
Paddy O'Byrne (1929-2013) as the Narrator

Synopsis
One day, while Xixo discovers an elephant that has been hunted by poachers, his children Xixi and Xisa stow away in the poachers' truck and Xixo must rescue them. Meanwhile, a light airplane carrying Dr. Stephen Marshall and Dr. Ann Taylor crashes into the Kalahari Desert, and the couple struggle to return to civilization while Xixo is caught in the crossfire of two warring soldiers.

Lowdown
The Gods Must Be Crazy II is proof that bigger isn't always better. While it boasts a bigger budget and improved cinematography, civilized man had forgotten about what made the first film a masterpiece. Sure, it tries to intertwine three story arcs together, but unfortunately, each arc is not remotely interesting. The characters are flat and the slapstick comedy is forced. Even Paddy O'Byrne's narration isn't as memorable.

In short, The Gods Must Be Crazy II is just a forgettable sequel. Stick with the first film.

Rating: C

References
The Internet Movie Database

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Saw the original by chance long ago. Great movie.

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Came in here expecting a reboot, glad to see it's just a post of the movie. Which is fantastic.

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