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The Gods Must Be Crazy

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Botswana, South Africa · 1980
Rated PG · 1h 49m
Director Jamie Uys
Starring Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, N-Xau, Louw Verwey
Genre Action, Comedy

A hunter-gatherer named Xi and his tribe come across a Coca-Cola bottle in the Kalahari desert. Xi decides to return it to the Gods and throw the bottle over the edge of the earth. In doing so, he comes into contact with western ‘civilization’, as his fate intertwines with a clumsy scientist and a group of revolutionaries.

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Variety by

Film’s main virtues are its striking, widescreen visuals of unusual locations, and the sheer educational value of its narration.


Washington Post by Paul Attanasio

The movie's smarmy condescension toward the Bushmen, how dainty and gentle and unknowable they are, is not at all foreign to the old American image of lovable blacks who were granted some sort of emotional superiority as a sop for the horrors they suffered. This kind of thing might spell liberalism in South Africa, but here it just leaves you reaching for your Rolaids. [05 Nov 1984, p.C6]


Time by Richard Corliss

The film's pleasures are simple and obvious: an original plot, lots of slapstick and a lead performance by the Bushman N!xau, who registers every absurdity with the aplomb of an aboriginal Buster Keaton.


Washington Post by Rita Kempley

The Gods Must Be Crazy is like nothing you've ever seen, a one-of-a-kind experience that's both strange and wonderful. It's most like an anthology of vintage Disney -- a wildlife narrative, a fairy tale with little people, and a love story suitable for general audiences. [02 Nov 1984, p.29]


Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

It might be easy to make a farce about screwball happenings in the desert, but it's a lot harder to create a funny interaction between nature and human nature. This movie's a nice little treasure.


The New York Times by Vincent Canby

The Gods Must Be Crazy is so genial, so good-natured and, on occasion, so inventive in its almost Tati-like slapstick routines, that it would would seem to deny the existence of any racial problems anywhere.

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