The Gods Must Be Crazy Essays

"The Gods Must Be Crazy" Movie Analysis

The Gods Must Be Crazy

Movie Analysis

The film, The Gods Must Be Crazy raises a great number of points which are relevant to the fundamental concepts relating to Society and Culture. The points raised are all used through comparison of the Kalahari Tribe's society and that of The Civilized White Society.

The Kalahari Bushmen live in small family groups in complete isolation from the rest of the world, and this has led to the belief that they are the only humans on earth. As they live off the land, the bushmen has no concept of ownership, anger, violence or guilt as the land supplies them with everything they desire, and they have never had the need for such harsh emotions. They have no concept of law, punishment or rulers, and live in harmony with both themselves and the land. They have strong belief in their gods, and when anything unexplainable happens, for example a plane in the sky, they believe it is just gods up in the sky.

        The film starkly contrasts the peaceful harmony of the Kalahari Bushmen with the rushed, needlessly organized erratic way of life of White Society. The film states that while the Kalahari Bushmen adapt to their environment and live successfully because of it, White society has found the need to adapt the environment to themselves. As each generation has different needs, the environment is constantly changed, until it has come to the point that the adolescence of White Society has to take exams just to learn to survive in this created environment. White Society too has religion like the Kalahari Bushmen, but unlike the unquestioning Bushmen, whites have questioned their religion almost to destruction. Unlike the trusting Bushmen, whites have to have an explanation for everything, which has resulted in suspicion of the unexplained.

Because of the stresses of living in such an environment, the movie suggests that White Society has lost contact with the simplicity of life. Scenes of whites are often sped up to create a sense of rushed unthoughtful ness, and many scenes involve violence. The film rightly demonstrates that whites use violence and war to solve conflicts, which is often unsuccessful and damaging. The conflicts within this film were mainly because within the one society lived more then one different cultures, which did not harmoniously live together. The Bushmen, on the other hand, all a connected society, successfully resolve conflicts by talking within the group to come to a beneficial result.

The only serious conflict within the Bushmen tribe was seen with the arrival of the bottle. As there was only one of this man-made object, everyone wanted to use it and the emotions of greed and jealously was evoked. Instead of fighting extensively over it, they resolved the problem by deciding to throw the "evil thing" off the side of the earth. The bottle itself was carelessly thrown from a plane by a white, who had no regard for it at all, where as the...

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The 1980 comedy was a significant film directed by Jamie Uys. The film is about the indigenous South African Bushmen living in the interior of the country. The movie is set on three distinctive story lines. It is about a Bushman’s trip made to dispose of an evil bottle that was presumed to be from the evil world. The movie also shows the romantic relationship between a schoolteacher and the scientist. It also depicts the band of guerrillas on the run. The native Bushmen were living without any trouble and had a lovely life in the Kalahari Desert. Over the years, they have been supremely happy with their gods for providing them with very pleasurable things.

They did not lack a thing and they met all their needs sufficiently to their contentment. These took a turn one day when a bottle fell from the skies, and they were amazed at what the gods had sent them. It was first seen as a blessing from the gods, but after some time, it proved to be an evil spell causing distress among the family.

Conflict Analysis

Living the interior parts of the unmentioned country in a land where civilization was unheard of, the Kalahari Bushmen had not imagined that there were other human beings living on the face of the world. The members of his community believed their gods and they were the only ones existing. In this setting, they had a harmonious interaction with each other without laws and crime to curb. The community was extremely straightforward with an easy and basic lifestyle. They remain attached to the beliefs in their gods, and anything unexplainable becomes attributed to the gods’ supernatural powers.

For example, if a plane would pass over their land, they assumed those were the gods in the skies. This is a direct contrast of the situation in the city on the other side of the world. The harmonious and peaceful environment is substituted with hustles, rush and organized way of living that only makes life difficult rather than easy. Unlike the Bushmen who are well contented with their resources, in the city, everyone is running up and down trying to catch up with the limited resources available. These shows how the human race is striving to make life easier, consequently making it more complicated than it was initially by Mother Nature.

The technological advancement meant to make life easy now has resulted in many years of study to be able to understand how to utilize the same. These have brought further strain on the younger generation as life has been rendered depended on these skills. Without the same skills, one is deemed out of competition and may end up in poverty. Ownership of property is an issue that the urban and civilized community has to deal with as every individual is working towards owning their own property. This has resulted in endless conflicts with regard to the ownership as people grab as much as they can.

On the contrary, Bushmen do not own any property and all the resources available are owned jointly by the community. Everything belongs to everyone, and no one claims authority over the other hence there are no conflicts among the villagers. The Bushmen unlike the whites and the civilized generation are trusting people who believe in everything concerning their religion. The civilized generation has an untrusting culture where there has to be an explanation for everything.

Functional Analysis

Functional analysis is the responsiveness towards a certain stimuli and behavior that trigger the same response. This involves identifying the antecedent of the behavior, identifying the behavior itself and lastly the consequences of the behavior. In the two settings, that are the Bushmen and the urban environment, there are things that make the two act as they do. In the urban setting, there are rules and the accepted ways of doing things. These makes the people in town behave as they do. These parameters include set work time that shapes the routine schedule for the entire week.

People respond to these schedules and have formed a habitual routine that defines the day’s setting. Breaking these schedules would cause a lot of trouble for an individual, and the same people are responsible for creating their own trouble. In the absence of these binding regulations that are unnecessary, conflict would be rear. In the rural setting, on the other hand, there are no rules, and the days are a little slower without the evident hustles in the city. Here, people are contented with the available resources and no one acts superior to the other. Everybody is equal, and no one can claim more influence on the other. It is for this reason that conflicts and dissatisfactions are rear in the bush setting. Life is easy and every day comes and goes normally without many unnecessary bureaucracies that lead to the complexity in life.

Symbolic Interaction

The central theme of symbolic interactions is that the surrounding influences humanity and images naturally found in their environments. Symbols are traditionally consequential social characteristics that are similar and emerge from social relations. Authenticity of life is a direct result of social interactions and is accrued from symbolic relations. The physical environment is also significant to human behavior and characteristics as it is mainly inferred in symbolic systems.

A definition, attached to historical practices or traditional prospects, can change appreciably and significantly as interactions are realized. Social blocks are mainly interested in presenting their cultural beliefs as favorable, than the rest protecting their esteemed inimitability. Thinking is an intrinsic self-evaluation that develops as social interactions intensify. Preferences are unique to different individuals and are achieved under the influence of the setting in the diverse social circumstances. From these descriptions, the view of human behavior emanates both in collective and individual situation presented as dynamic and inventive opposed to being alert to environmental inducements.

Strongest Perspective

In the movie, “The Gods’ Must be Crazy” the theory of functional analysis is more prevalent in the contrast between the urban town and the Kalahari Desert. Cultural diversity between the city and the interior Bushmen’s lifestyle is a clear indication of geographical influence on human character and behavior. From this perception, global ethnic diversity is formed as a cultural mixture with diverse cultures that are clearly surrounded with strict confines between them. This is the perspective in which our portrayal of culture is formed.

Different beliefs and cultural practices host their own characteristics that make them unique and distinctive from each other.  A society can be either identical or decidedly different. Concerning the question of globalizing culture with ethnic diversity, the conflict point of view is that globalization poses a significant threat to the original and existing cultures. The view is conveyed to the population through the global economic structures. In political and economic guise, they have infiltrated these nations with their own cultural beliefs eroding the existing and native beliefs of the indigenous population

This argument does converge to the cultural differentials dispute in respect to perspective disapproval or neglect of culture diversity. It rather emphasizes functionalist principles that show the differences between cultures and the result of globalization. In the inland, the Bushmen lack organizations of tenure and are seen as a faultless society with no instances of violence, hate and other societal vices that cause human conflicts. The land provides them with all these sources of joy hence there are no reasons to have dull days. They also have no guiding laws and regulations neither do they administer punishment since there are no laws to break.


Speaking about the development status in the city and the hustles and struggles to make a living and survive in such a harsh environment, people still make a livelihood out of what they have. People in the cities seem to have their lives going on well and have no complains about the setup they are forced to live in. The daily challenges facing the civilized population remain conquered every single day, and they seem to have adapted to the way of life goffered by the consequential technological advancement.

The Bushmen find contentment with the slow pacing lifestyle and are adapted to it. Just the same way the urban population marvels at their existence, the Bushmen too remain intrigued by the urban dwellers. A bottle falling from the skies is something that must be of supernatural influence. The Bushmen could not understand how an object made from heavy metal can fly above in the wind without falling. This was supernatural and almost unexplainable to them. Their lives were easy, and they attributed everything that happened to them as to the gods. Nothing happened to them without the knowledge of the gods.

With these two distinctive settings, one lesson is quite clear in both situations. Humanity is a creation of the surrounding that one adapts. Different environments result in different characteristics and different cultures altogether. Ones’ adaptations depend on their response to the environment, and this is what all of us are made to adopt. With the differences in cultural practices, the human race is bound to co-exist without conflicts. We all have different backgrounds in terms of growth, and addictiveness, but we share the same human characteristics.

It should be in the best interest for the entire human race to appreciate each other’s cultural practices and shun the characteristic rush to promote individualism and self-culture. This would bring cordial relation and would halt possible conflicts in regards to desire of influence.

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