The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In The Gods Must Be Crazy, after a tribe of bushmen, living contently in the middle of the Kalahari, discovers an empty Coke bottle, it’s presence sets off a wave of anger and violence to possess it. The elders elect Xi to drop the item off the edge of the world so their live may return to normal. His journey takes him across the desert where he comes across a bumbling scientist and a band of revolutionaries. In the end, will this humble man save his tribe and his community at large?

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The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

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‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Gods Must Be Crazy begins with a tribe of bushmen living contently in the middle of the Kalahari Desert. They take only what they need from the land. That philosophy has resulted in a life of joy, simplicity, and no crime. One day, as a plane flies over the desert, its pilot throws his empty Coca-cola bottle out the window. It falls to the earth, unbroken.

The bushmen find the bottle, and think that it’s a gift from the gods because it has so many uses. Unfortunately, the gods only gave them one. Soon, everyone in the tribe wants to use it for their own purpose. Anger and violence consume the simple people because of it. The elders confer, and they decide that they must get rid of the “evil thing,” but their attempts fail. Someone manages to find the bottle a day later. Xi must throw the bottle off the edge of the world to get rid of it once and for all.

Meanwhile, biologist Andrew Steyn, is busy studying the animals of the Kalahari for his doctorate in Botswana. The local reverend is asks him to pick up Kate Thompson in a nearby village, and bring her to his village. Kate has become overwhelmed as a reporter living in the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, South Africa, and has decided to take a job in the Botswana village teaching the local children.

Although Steyn is a smart biologist, he is completely flustered when he is around women, and seems incompetent in front of them. After some hilarity of unfortunate events, that ends up with Steyn’s Land Rover hanging from a tree, local tour guide, Jack Hind, arrives out of the blue, and takes control of the situation. Kate makes it to her village in his convertible Winnebago that self drives as Jack makes everyone alcoholic beverages.

Some 2000 miles to the north, government troops chase Sam Boga and his band of gorillas into Botswana after trying to assassinate the president of an unnamed Africa country. They head towards the village where Kate teaches. We cut to Xi as he continues his quiet journey to the edge of the world; unaware of the craziness going on around him. Hungry, he shoots a goat with a tranquilizer at a corral he happens upon.

Unfortunately, the goat’s owner shoots him in the leg, and Botswana officials then arrest Xi. M’pudi, who works for Steyn as his mechanic knows how to speak bushman, and has to translate for Xi in his trail. M’pudi concludes that Xi’s jail time will end up being his death sentence, so he and Steyn hires Xi for the rest of his sentence as a tracker.

Sam Boga and his band reach Kate’s village, and quickly take her, and the children she’s teaching, as human shields. He marches everyone deep into the Kalahari, where Steyn, M’pudi, and Xi are documenting the number of animals in the area. Noticing that the kids are in trouble, the three men hatch a plan to tranquilize the gorillas with mini arrows. Xi crossdresses as a woman, and shoots six of the eight gorillas with his arrow. They easily overpower the remaining two while they play a game of hearts. Our heroes free Kate and the children as local tour guide, Jack Hind, arrives out of the blue again; this time with the local police, and manages to take credit for the capture.

Eventually, Xi completes his sentence, and continues on his journey to the edge of the world. Steyn makes one more trip to see Kate, and explain to her that he’s not a fool, but just awkward around women. A blossoming romance begins between the two, despite this awkwardness. Xi eventually arrives at God’s Window in South Africa. Believing that he has come to the edge of the world, Xi tosses the “evil thing” into the clouds below, and quietly returns home to a happy ending.

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Ster-Kinekor released The Gods Must Be Crazy on September 10, 1980. Jamie Uys directed the film starring N!xau, Marius Weyers, and Sandra Prinsloo.

User Rating: 3.07 ( 3 votes)
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