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The Gods Must Be Crazy

The Gods Must Be Crazy was a movie released in 1980, written and directed by Jamie Uys. It told the story of Xixo, a Bushman of the Kalahari Desert (played by Namibian bush farmer N!xau) whose tribe has no contact or knowledge of the world beyond.

One day a passing airplane drops a glass Coke bottle and initially this strange artefact seems to be a boon from the gods, with many uses being discovered for it. But the tribe soon finds itself suffering from increased strife, since there is only one bottle to share among all the people wanting to use it, and it is decided that the bottle must be thrown off of the edge of the world. Xixo is nominated for the task, and as he travels in his quest he encounters members of western civilization for the first time. The film presents an interesting interpretation of civilization as viewed through Xixo's perceptions.

A sequel was released in 1989, The Gods Must Be Crazy II, in which Xixo's two young children encounter poachers in the Kalahari and inadvertantly stow away on their truck. Xixo must once again travel great distances to retrieve them, and once again encounters various other western characters who are on quests of their own.

Whilst a large Western white audience found the films funny, there was some considerable debate about its racial politics, with the portrayal of Xixo as the naive innocent incapable of understanding the ways of the "gods" viewed by some as patronising and insulting.

Three further sequels were filmed in Cantonese by Hong Kong filmmakers:

These were intended as pure comedies, and are not considered of as good a quality as the first two films.