The Gods Must be Crazy

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Released 1980


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Movie Summary

Jamie Uys
The Gods Must be Crazy, a 1980 film set in Africa and originally released in Afrikaans, is the first in a series that chronicles the tale of Xi, a Sho of the Kalahari Desert, a tribe with no knowledge of the outside world. Three stories are interwoven, that of guerrillas on the run, a romance between scientist and schoolteacher, and a Bushman who is trying to get rid of a Coke bottle. With the arrival of the bottle tossed out of a plane, Xi's people meet western civilization. They explore the many uses of the bottle but eventually start fighting, so Xi decides to return the bottle to God from where he believes it came. The parallel plot lines of the biologist and schoolteacher and the guerrillas add to the chaos and humor. Although the film has met with controversy and been condemned as racist towards the bushmen by some, many consider it an accurate and thought-provoking portrayal of the strangeness of western civilization.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times 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 an...

  • 80

    Time 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 ab...

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times 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 ...

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