Quotes from the Movie The Gods Must Be Crazy

It looks like a paradise, but it is the most treacherous desert in the world, the Kalahari. After the short rainy season there are many water holes, and even rivers. But after a few weeks, the water sinks away into the deep Kalahari sand. The water holes dry, and the rivers stop flowing. The grass fades to a beautiful blond colour that offers excellent grazing. But for the next nine months, there will be no water to drink. So most of the animals move away, leaving the blond grass uneaten.

The Narrator

Humans avoid the Kalahari like the plague because man must have water. So the beautiful landscapes are devoid of people. Except for the little people of the Kalahari. Pretty, dainty, small and graceful, the Bushmen. Where any other person would die of thirst in a few days they live quite contentedly in this desert. They know where to dig for roots and bugs and tubers and which berries and pods are good to eat. Of course they know what to do about water. In the early morning,you can collect dewdrops from leaves that were carefully laid out the previous evening. Or a plume of grass can be a reservoir. If you have the know-how, a clump of twigs can tell you where to dig and you come to light with an enormous tuber. You scrape shavings off it with a stick that is split for a sharp edge. You take a handful of the shavings, point your thumb at your mouth and squeeze. They must be the most contented people in the world. They have no crime, no punishment, no violence, no laws no police, judges, rulers or bosses. They believe that the gods put only good and useful things on the earth for them.

The Narrator

In this world of theirs, nothing is bad or evil. Even a poisonous snake is not bad. You just have to keep away from the sharp end. Actually, a snake is very good. In fact, it's delicious. And the skin makes a fine pouch.

The Narrator

They live in the vastness of the Kalahari in small family groups. One family of Bushmen might meet up with another once in a few years. But for the most part, they live in complete isolation unaware there are other people in the world. In the deep Kalahari, there are Bushmen who have not heard of civilized man.

The Narrator

Sometimes they hear a thundering sound when there are no clouds. They assume the gods have eaten too much and their tummies are rumbling. Sometimes they can even see the evidence of the gods' flatulence.

The Narrator

Their language has an idiosyncrasy of its own. It seems to consist mainly of clicking sounds.

The Narrator

They're very gentle people. They'll never punish a child or even speak harshly to it. So the kids are extremely well-behaved. Their games are cute and inventive.

The Narrator

When the family needs meat the hunter dips his arrow in a brew that acts as a tranquilliser. When he shoots a buck, it feels a sting and the arrow drops out. The buck runs away, but soon it gets drowsy and it stops running. After a while, it goes to sleep. The hunter apologizes. He explains that his family needs the meat.

The Narrator

The characteristic which really makes them different from all other races is that they have no sense of ownership at all. Where they live, there's nothing you can own. Only trees and grass and animals.

The Narrator

These Bushmen have never seen a stone or a rock in their lives. The hardest things they know are wood and bone. They live in a gentle world, where nothing is as hard as rock, steel or concrete.

The Narrator

Only 600 miles to the south, there's a vast city.And here you find civilized man. Civilized man refused to adapt himself to his environment. Instead he adapted his environment to suit him. So he built cities, roads, vehicles, machinery. And he put up power lines to run his labour-saving devices. But he didn't know when to stop. The more he improved his surroundings to make life easier the more complicated he made it. Now his children are sentenced to 10 to 15 years of school, to learn how to survive in this complex and hazardous habitat. And civilized man, who refused to adapt to his surroundings now finds he has to adapt and re-adapt every hour of the day to his self-created environment. For instance, if it's Monday and 7:30 comes up, you have to disadapt from your domestic surroundings and re-adapt yourself to an entirely different environment. 8:00 means everybody has to look busy. 10:30 means you can stop looking busy for 15 minutes. And then, you have to look busy again. Your day is chopped into pieces. In each segment of time you adapt to new circumstances.

The Narrator

In the Kalahari, it's always Tuesday, or Thursday if you like. Or Sunday. No clocks or calendars tell you to do this or that.

The Narrator

Lately, strange new things sometimes appeared in the sky. Noisy birds that flew without flapping their wings.

The Narrator

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. They wondered why the gods had sent it to them. Pabo got his finger stuck in the thing and the children thought he was very funny. Xi tried the thing out to cure thongs. It had the right shape and weight. It was also beautifully smooth and ideal for curing snakeskin. And Pabo discovered you could make music on it. And every day they discovered a new use for the thing. It was harder and heavier and smoother than anything they'd ever known. It was the most useful thing the gods had ever given them. A real labour-saving device. But the gods had been careless. They had sent only one. Now, for the first time, here was a thing that 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. Other new things came. Anger, jealousy, hate and violence.

The Narrator

The most inquisitive creature in Africa is the baboon. Xi said [to the baboon after it took away the Coca cola bottle], "That is a very evil thing you've got. You better give it back so I can take it and throw it off the earth. It brought unhappiness to my family. If you don't give it to me it'll bring grief to you and your family too." He spoke long and earnestly until the baboon began to pay attention. He must have convinced it, and it dropped the thing. And Xi said, "You have done a very wise thing.

The Narrator

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