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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

The Gods Must Be Crazy I & II
Directed by Jamie Uys
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment 06/04 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG

The Gods Must Be Crazy, a 1984 comedy from South African, was written, directed, and produced by Jamie Uys. Xixo (Nixau), the leader of a primitive and nomadic bush tribe in the Kalahari desert, watches the orderly ways of his people disappear when a magical object — an empty soft drink bottle — brings chaos, jealousy, and violence into their midst. Walking to what he thinks is "the edge of the earth" to return the evil thing to the gods, the bushman encounters civilization. Very funny elements surface in the love affair between a bumbling microbiologist and a big city schoolteacher and in the confusions brought to the area by an inept guerilla leader and his silly band of revolutionaries.

Following the worldwide success of this comedy, Uys created a sequel released in 1990 with some of the same themes. Xixo must search for his two small children after they hop aboard a truck belonging to ivory poachers. He encounters two couples lost in the desert and two soldiers, a Cuban and an African, who have gotten separated from their units in Angola. Both films depict the humorous cultural differences between tribal individuals and people from modern societies. Anyone who likes slapstick will not be disappointed by either film.


This DVD release contains the two movies on two disks. Extras include a feature on Nixau, the films' star, a Kalahari Bushman who had never acted before; a tribute to Jamie Uys by cinematographer Buster Reynolds, plus a weblink to the Kalahari Peoples Fund.

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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