The Gods Must Be Crazy
This film was a mash up of three separate stories – the journey of a Bushman to the “end of the world,” the romance between a researcher and a school teacher, and a group of revolutionaries fleeing persecution.
The story begins with Xi and his tribe of Bushman members living well in the Kalahari Desert. These unique sets of individuals only wear a piece of cloth over their lower bodies and occasionally have a headpiece as well. They are happy since the gods have provided for them and everyone is at peace. One day, a glass Coke bottle was thrown out of an airplane and falls to earth – appearing as if it was sent from the gods. The significance of the bottle falling from the plane is that it is spreading from the city to an isolated civilization that was not familiar to prior to the fall (diffusion). It was put to good use then later as it began to cause chaos amongst the tribe due to the fact is was not originally part of their customs. Since causing unhappiness to the tribe, Xi decides that the bottle is an evil thing and must be thrown off the edge of the earth. He begins his quest and encounters Western civilization for the first time.
Along with the plot line of the Bushman’s journey, there is also the story of a shy biologist, Andrew Steyn, who is studying the local animals (also known as manure-collecting) with a funny romance of a newly hired village school teacher, Kate Thompson. And some guerillas led by Sam Boga, who are being pursued by the government troops after an unsuccessful attempt to massacre the Cabinet of the fictional African country of Burani. As the bushman continues his journey, he first encounters a farm with a piece of land filled with goats. With instinct, he shoots the goat to prepare to eat. In Xi’s culture, whenever there is an opportunity to kill and feed your tribe, you do so. When he came upon the goats he did not think about the property he was about to take but rather the kill he was going to make. However, in western civilization, majority respects the boundaries and does not take what is not theirs.
This can be seen as a custom that applies to small tribes like the Bushman or large cultures such as western civilization itself. For his uncommon actions, he was arrested and jailed for stealing livestock. M’Pudi, who is familiar with the bushman culture, realizes Xi will die in a prison cell. Here is another example of diffusion as M’Pudi and Steyn decide to hire Xi as a personal tracker for his entire sentence. As things are looking brighter for the Bushman, the group of revolutionaries invades the school where Kate teaches and use here and the children as human shields for their escape by foot into the neighboring country. Steyn and his comrades manage to immobilize the guerillas as they are passing by and save Kate and her pupils. Steyn allows Xi to eave to continue his journey to the end of the world. Through the acculturation of the simple coke bottle, Xi managed to finish his quest and gain a better knowledge of western civilization. It taught us that modern society today is changing from what it used to be when the world was civilizing and that media and all societies have an influence on one another.