From the vault: The Gods Must Be Crazy is full of laughs and life lessons [Review]

From the vault: The Gods Must Be Crazy is full of laughs and life lessons [Review]

South African cult classic from the 1980s shows two cultures which are dramatically different

If you like a social message with your laughs then this comedy directed by famous South African film maker Jamie Uys is for you.

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) is set in South Africa, where people called Bushmen live without much interaction with the modern world. Events are set in motion when a pilot tosses an empty Coke bottle from the sky, and it’s picked up by Xi (played by N!xau) who has never seen such a thing. He and his family believe the bottle has been thrown to Earth by the gods. But soon there is conflict over who gets the bottle. To stop the fighting, Xi decides to throw the “evil thing” away but soon realises it’s not as easy as he thought. He has to throw the bottle off the edge of the world. So he begins his journey. He finds a whole other civilisation he never knew existed, with hilarious adventures along the way.


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I love how the movie starts by portraying how backwards the bushmen appear, with their simple ways of life, but they have adapted to the environment around them. In contrast, the “civilised” are at war with the environment and each other. Even though they are not far apart, the two cultures are dramatically different.

I loved soaking in the beautiful culture of Africa in this film, with the traditional costumes and singing. If you like wildlife, you’ll love the elephants and giraffes running in and out of scenes too! This movie explores the good and evil of humanity while mixing a few jokes in here and there to keep it light and funny.

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Cult classic is full of life lessons

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