When the peaceful co-existence of a small Bushman community is disturbed after a Coke bottle falls from the sky, Xi decides to travel to the end of the world and throw the “evil thing” away, in order to bring peace and order back to his people and the world. On his journey he meets new people, gets introduced to different ways of life and realises that his world is much different than theirs. The Bushman community has no sense of ownership, they share and share alike, but as with the Coke bottle that brought such troubles to his community, he now realises that the rest of the world has already been corrupted and that ownership is key. This is why he must get rid of this “evil thing”, but the adventures he has along the way is both strange and exciting…
The Gods Must Be Crazy is one of South Africa’s “pride and joy” flicks, which gives the viewer an inside look into a world that’s basically non-existent anymore… The Bushmen (Khoi-San people) are still there, deep in the Kalahari, but they are left alone to go about their hunting and gathering by the rest of the world. With such a fragile infrastructure that their values are built on, these people find strange things unimaginable and with good reason too. As with the Coke bottle, which clearly represents the Western world (government, murder, guilt, evil, religion, concrete etc.), the Bushmen needs not these “fancy” things that the rest of mankind takes for granted. What’s more is that they don’t need it and neither does the rest of the world.
The Gods Must Be Crazy was released in South Africa back in 1980, released to the world in 1983 and ever since has been synonymous with South African films. Showcasing the acting talents of Sandra Prinsloo, Marius Meyers and Ken Gampu as well as the talents of Jamie Uys, who are all household names on this side of the world. Furthermore, it has all the elements that makes it a good movie, from objects with metaphorical annotations to romance, dorkiness, fun, sadness and more. The Gods Must Be Crazy is by far one of the most enjoyable flicks ever to come from South Africa and is likely far beyond its time. This is a classic film and a genuine must-see by young and old.
Of course, considering the film was produced during the Apartheid-era, we have to realise that the quality is not that great. The sound may not always go along with the movements of the actors’ mouths and the film might seem grainy at times, but this is a Proudly South African film that crossed the boundaries and gave us unity. The message is clear in it that we’re not always better off with our technology and modernism, that we won’t survive or adapt to these people’s way of life and that they should be left in peace. We realise that we’ve got the bad hand out of the deal, thinking we’re smarter than the hunter gatherers and while our superiority might be indoctrinated into us from a young age, we hardly survive when there’s an economic crises.
For those who are interested to get their hands on The Gods Must Be Crazy, I found a neat little 2-for-1 DVD pack for cheap. Both The Gods Must Be Crazy and The Gods Must Be Crazy 2 are in this 2-for-1 pack and is suitable for the whole family. Click on the image to get your hands on this deal! Heritage Day just got so much better, don’t you think?