Featuring a very original story and a lot of hilarious gags, The Gods Must Be Crazy holds a special place in my heart. It’s charming, silly, and above all authentic. It also touches upon many different aspects of life in a very carefree and unobtrusive way. This sort of disarms your defense mechanisms and prompts you to think about the way we live our modern lives. Something we have less and less time to do. I guess we should first get out of the way of the whole racial issue. What I will definitely say is that the movie is a bit patronizing with the narration.
Shot over forty years ago in South Africa during Apartheid, The Gods Must Be Crazy is a testament to a different time. We could argue that the whole white couple good – tribesman stupid is a dumb premise. Along with the notion of guerilla army bringing instability to the region that needs a strong-arm leadership. Actually, if you decide to check out this movie, you should look for those racial undertones. I mean, the basic concept of being so far removed from the civilization that you don’t know what’s a coca-cola bottle or an airplane is not inherently racist. Or I least I think it isn’t. What do you think?
So, you will not only be having fun but also looking for hidden clues. I mean, could you ask more from a movie. When I was younger, I simply adored this movie along with Yankee Zulu, another great South African comedy. The honesty and wholesomeness of the Bushmen make every scene, joke, or gag work. I could watch their adventures all day. However, when the focus shifts to other characters, things get wobbly. Especially with the whole guerilla thing.
San tribe is enjoying their simple life at the banks of the Kalahari desert. They have everything they need, with God providing them with food, clothes, and precious water. However, one day a Coca-Cola bottle falls from the sky before Xi, who takes this as a sign. A sign that the Gods sent them a gift that will soon change everything.
It’s funny that the main object in The Gods Must Be Crazy is a Coca-Cola bottle, an object that has now reached every country in the world. I remember watching not only documentaries but also vloggers in some extremely rural areas stumbling upon Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Featuring scientists, schoolteachers, and fucking guerrilla army, this is indeed a crazy movie. They made many more sequels with declining quality, so you better stick to the original one. You also might wanna check out Crocodile Dundee featuring a relatively similar vibe.
Finally, apart from all the humor, you will also have an opportunity to enjoy in glorious and wild landscapes of South Africa with a lot of wildlife. Some of the scenes look pretty dangerous, a staple of that filmmaking era. I mean, I wouldn’t fuck around with lions and rhinos but I guess they look really cool on the big screen.
Director: Jamie Uys
Writer: Jamie Uys
Cast: N!xau, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Louw Verwey, Michael Thys, Paddy O’Byrne
Fun Facts: N!xau was paid less than $2,000 for his role as Xi, even though the film grossed over $200 million worldwide.