Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980, S. Africa/Botswana)

In this sleeper hit from director/actor/writer/producer Jamie Uys about the bushmen of the Kalahari:

  • the careless discarding of a glass Coke bottle from an airplane and its discovery by Xixo (N'xau), a Junt-wasi tribesman from the African Kalahari Desert - who assumed it was a gift from the gods, according to the film's voice-over narrator (Paddy O'Byrne): ("Lately, strange new things sometimes appeared in the sky. Noisy birds that flew without flapping their wings. One day, something fell from the sky. Xi had never seen anything like this in his life. It looked like water, but it was harder than anything else in the world. He wondered why the gods had sent this thing down to the earth. It was the strangest and most beautiful thing they had ever seen, and they wondered why the gods had sent it to them")
  • the aftermath - anger, jealousy, and greed among his tribe: ("It was the most useful thing the gods had ever given them. A real labor-saving device. But the gods had been careless. They had sent only one. And now, for the first time in their lives, here was a thing which could not be shared because there was only one of it. Suddenly, everybody needed it most of the time. A thing they had never needed before became a necessity. And unfamiliar emotions began to stir. A feeling of wanting to own, of not wanting to share. And other new things came: anger, jealousy, hate and violence")
  • Xi's reaction to the newfound emotions: ("Xi was angry with the gods. He shouted, 'Take back your thing! We don't want it! Look at the trouble it brought.' But the gods did not take it back. He shouted, 'You must be crazy to send us this thing! Take it back!'") - the derivation of the film's title
  • Xi's journey to return the peculiar glass object back to the gods - by finding the edge of the earth (a cliff above a cloud-covered valley) and throwing back the offensive object, in the film's ending: ("Xi was beginning to think he'd never find the end of the earth. And one day, suddenly, there it was")

The Glass Coke Bottle

Xixo Tribesman in Kalahari

Repercussions of Coke Bottle

Tossing the Bottle Off Cliff


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