The Gods Must Be Crazy movie might seem to be a typical comedy filled with slapstick humor as well as overtly prolonged sequences featuring gags. At the same time, there is no denying the fact that, the movie has cult status and widely considered as an epic comedy of absurd characters. Directed by Jamie Uys in 1980, the movie involves two contrasting sides of the matter including the Bushmen residing in the Kalahari Desert and the urban people who come from the post-colonial Africa. Basically, the movie represents an allegory for the influence of technology on the society and emphasizes both pros and cons of urbanization-targeted processes.
Even though technology is fundamentally one of the driving forces of the present-day society; it offers access to the information as well as facilitates the evolution of new approaches and mechanisms in different realms of life; it also has a number of underwhelming impacts on the society. The movie under consideration draws much attention to this aspect as well. When analyzing the movies in the context of the present-day issues experienced by the society, it is necessary to mention that a number of aspects were covered that serve as the basis for much speculation. Thus, through the portrayal of movie’s protagonists, it is possible to notice a wide range of human beings’ flaws.
The movie opens with presentation of the major differences between the primitive culture of the Bushmen and the contemporary technology-based culture of the urbanites. The desert of Kalahari appears to be a foreboding place. The movie also manifests that little people who refer to it as home lead ordinary lives and do not violate the law as well as avoid violence in their lives. Such a peaceful presentation of the quiet life is interrupted with the arrival of the Coca Cola bottle, which introduces us to the world of urban life and technology.
The arrival of this object that is definitely something new to the eyes of the natives appears to bring nothing but conflict to the small tribe residing in this region, which in turn brings about jealousy, coveting as well as strife to the tribe that used to be a rather peaceful community of people. A leader of the community called Xi was the first to discover the object. He then embarks on the long journey needed to take the bottle away and thus eliminate the problems it has caused to the community.
As the leading protagonist in the movie Xi is taken into the particular cast of characters each of whom represents a particular cultural background and its attitude to technologies that is associated with the modernism. Kate Thompson is introduced to the settlement to perform the activities of a teacher. Andrew Steyn appears to be a biologist who applies technology in order to explore the peculiarities of the species of the Botswana elephant. Sam Boga as the Latin revolutionary represents demonization of the concept of communism. Jack Hind who is portrayed as a capitalist proves to be apt towards technologies. He drives his tour bus across the savanna in a relaxed fashion. This character can be considered to be the antagonist of the movie.
In terms of sociological point of view, the movie casts light on the values of technological advances, which in turn indicates modernism in its purest form. Mpudi said that he had never seen a wall in his life and that, he then had walls surrounding him, and he was surely going to die (Quotes.net). The civilization is likely to bring about negative outcomes within the society. At the point when Xi faces the concept of Western modernisms, he views it with no preconception of the idea the technology has. Due to a lack of water within the community like that, the bottle of Coke raises a number of issues; the most important one is what actually this bottle might mean to the members of the community. The naivety of the protagonist indicates the cost of the technology for the society in general. The movie also raises question on the price of technology and how it influenced lives and attitudes.
Thus, the movie features scientists who are stranded in those rivers that one without any technological background can easily wade. At the same time, the clothing is interfered by trees only because of the fact that the concept of decency turns down the appropriateness of the use of temperature-adjusted clothes. Thus, there arises two major questions regarding the technological advances; namely, what the price of technology is as well as whether the advantages brought about by technologies outweigh the costs.
The narrator said that a poisonous snake was not bad, one just had to avoid the sharp end (Quotes.net).This implies that the harm brought about by technologies can be avoided if its negative effects are properly handled. An essential message of the whole movie appears to be a particular narrative in respect to the cultural value of possession. Here it is necessary to indicate that the tribe of the protagonist resides in the desert, which is an area with a scarce number of resources. Nevertheless, these people do not pity about their lack of vital resources, instead they are grateful to gods for everything they have. There is no such thing as good or bad to the members of the community things are just the way they are. There is no one to be held in an advantageous position as all the members are treated equally.
The Coca-Cola bottle was the start of turmoil for the society that was not familiar with any object regarding the present-day society. People from this tribe were not accustomed to showing any sign of anger, greed, and aggression. Basically, such behavior can be attributed to the need of members of the society to own objects privately. A society that allows the idea of possession can never achieve the level of satisfaction with life as one that does not because ownership tempts one to acquire more properties so as to have an advantageous position over the others in the society. Therefore, power appears to be ingrained in the nature of possession.
Another important idea portrayed throughout the movie is the admonition to those people who cherish the advantages brought about by technologies. At the same time, negative impact of unequal distribution of technology is also shown in the movie. In the context of the film, it can be noted that concentrations of material technological resources brings both good and negative outcomes.
Due to their familiarity with the material technologies, a number of characters are informed in terms of authority over other people. Nonetheless, there are no facts that acknowledge the negative influence of the technologies on the society. There are characters who understand the actions of Xi. Taking into consideration that any culture where the concept of possession is highly appreciated, there are ways to accumulate this possession. Consequently, technologies are largely concentrated into the hands of a few in the society. Sam Boga and Jack Hind use their material resources and advanced technology to exercise authority over others, which results in violence and shame.
This film can be viewed in a deeper way considering that it was it created in 1980, which was definitely the most noticeable decade of apartheid. Even though, it is easier to assess the actions of the past days by means of the present-day analogies, it is necessary to state that all those actions represent the nature of society at any particular time.
In addition, if we consider the movie in the present-day perspective, it offers another interesting set of ideas in respect to the initial message. In particular, the period of time described in the movie vividly depicts disturbed moments in the world history including the problem arising in the background of the post-colonial African, nationalism, the peak period of the Cold War and the disastrous condition of the Western Industry. Primarily, the aspirations of the white population of the South Africa in the 1980s can be viewed as that of genocidal nature. The opening scene of the movie has the narrative, which appears to be abundant in ethnically and racially driven rule.
Those non-civilized Bushmen and the San people were driven to the northern extent due to the European colonial interference. The San people are described in the movie as those who do not use any type of modern clothing or any amenities they had for the purpose of resembling the native population. However, the film production actually failed to deliver the appropriate image of the Xhosa tongue. Thus, the sound we can hear turns out to be more exotic, rather than actually Xhosa language.
In addition, it is necessary to point out that the film can be viewed in the course of the interpretation of the communistic ideas. Thus, the character that is based on the image of Che Guevara is called Boca who can be viewed as the antagonist of the film. As a matter of fact, the concepts of Communism can be considered as the dominating message in the movie. The movie was made when the Cold War was at its height, when South Africa was overwhelmed by the influence of apartheid. Even though the desire for mutual wealth as well as equal community experienced by the main protagonist is similar to ideals sought after by the communists, it is necessary to mention that apartheid-led submission misses out in the movie under consideration.
The movie provides a vivid illustration that emphasizes the difference between the culture of the natives and that of the modern urbanites. This purpose is achieved by means of interactions involving members of each of the social groups concerned. In addition, the contrast is also apparent via the action of the characters in the movie alongside with their value and contrasting worldviews. In the course of the movie, we witness the contrasting points as well as the belief that any particular ethnic group is superior to others, as that is seen through each character.
The culture followed within the Bushmen community can be characterized as rather simple and content, where the life pace in the Bushmen culture is fairly slow and relaxed. There are no social classes within the Bushmen culture. In terms of child raising practices, it is necessary to point out the fact that Bushmen never acted rudely in respect to their children, but their children’s behavior at the same time is rather calm and polite. Their original belief is that the most important thing in life is god and relationship. Everything in the world, both humans and non-human beings are highly appreciated by the Bushmen. It is noticeable in the movie how they hunt, specifically they shoot an animal with a tranquilizer and only, and then they wait until the animal would go to sleep. Interestingly enough, they also apologize for killing an animal, as their only motivation is to do so for the sake of their family so as to make sure they have enough to eat (Regarding Race, Nation, and Our Future).
Despite the fact that the Bushmen lived under squalor circumstances, this did not prevent them from being happy and satisfied with their style of living. Another vital characteristic of the community of Bushmen was lack of conflict among its members. In addition, they did not have any concept of the private property, which meant that they eagerly shared their belonging with one another. However, the turning point for this peaceful life was when they came across gift from god, seen as the bottle of Coke. This object was considered to be used for many situations including those when they used it as a toy, a tool, as well as a music maker.
In the course of his journey, the protagonist faces the outcome of the civilization that actually proves to be of concern to him. He happens to be unable to understand why he was arrested and jailed for murdering a goat. According to his native tribe, private property does not exist. Later on Andrew Steyn, a microbiologist who is a rather talented scientist, who becomes rather clumsy every time he confronts the woman he loves, who’s actually the only female in the territory, rescued him. She is named Kate Thompson who escaped from the madness of the outer present-day world to become a teacher at the Christianity mission located in Kalahari.
As a matter of fact, there is a subplot ingrained into the overall plot of the movie, which involves a minor group of revolutionary activities led by Sam Boga. He can be characterized as one of the supporters of Marxist’s ideas. He and his group of followers did not manage to cope in a black-ruled country in the neighboring area.
The depiction of the communists in the movie allows viewers to see the film as an extraordinary slapstick comedy as the plot in the movie is based on the story involving humor and love. Communist guerillas represented are the reference to the difficulties experienced by the South African government in Namibia. At the same time, the depiction of the communists in the movie serves as the reference to Cuba as the source of revolution, which in turn suggests that even African governments can be subjected to communism.
The portrayal of rebels is one of incompetence and at the same time dangerous in the context of the South African government’s activities. This is particularly essential in respect to the rigid control over South Africa and Namibia. Taking into account that black population was greater in number, the white population of South Africa in turn was afraid of the majority rule.
As the movie, Gods Must Be Crazy offers a mixture of several stories with a similar pretext by being incorporated within the comedy genre. Even though there are traits of reality in the movie, it also attempts to show the disadvantages of every culture. However, out of the cultures showcased in the movie, the American culture was the object of the most attention and therefore satirical. However, there is no denying the fact that the film pays due attention to the most accurate points pertaining to the human nature in terms of geography.
The movie covers different points in respect to the African culture, which is clear throughout the movie. Thus, some of the key aspects covered are organization, government, and religion. For example through the clothes used by the African people, numerous peculiarities were showed regarding their culture. As a matter of fact, the major point covered throughout the movie is adequate presentation of family organization, which is definitely one of the key elements of the human geography. Here it is worth pointing out that all the people are likely to share their belonging with one another as well as prefer spending much time together. This in turn suggests a drastic difference in comparison to the western cultures where things seem to be opposite.
Thus, the movie under consideration provides an interesting example of work of art, as there are numerous themes and messages. Even though it is a comedy by nature, the film is an excellent illustration of the major aspects of the human beings’ behavior within its historical context. Moreover, it is possible to deduce that the major characters that are representatives of different worldviews and some particular ideologies. Their deeds and ideas serve as the insights into the human soul as they portray various aspects of human society from different angles.
The movie efficiently represents the collision of two worlds, specifically that of the Bushmen society which is full of kindness, mutual respect as well as a tinge of naivety alongside with the world represented by the urban world that is drastically different from the former one. With this in mind, creators of the film contrast and compare the different worldviews between them and allow viewers to understand the messages ingrained in the context.
Quotes.net,. “Gods Must Be Crazy Quotes”. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
Regarding Race, Nation, and Our Future,. “Film Analysis — The Gods Must Be Crazy”. N.p., 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2016.