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The Gods Must Be Crazy Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Charming family film makes you think; expect some shooting.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Gods Must Be Crazy is a charming '80s classic that reveals the follies of the modern world from the perspective of a native Kalahari bushman. There are several gunfights, including a political massacre when guerillas burst into a cabinet meeting and shoot wildly, but the violence has a slapstick quality to it that takes some of the edge off.

  • Families can talk about modern society. How do you think our world must look to someone, like an isolated bushman, who encounters it for the first time?
  • Do you think the amount of gunfire should exclude this from being considered a family film?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The benefits of civilization, including technology, laws, and government, aren't always so beneficial to people. A bushman from a remote part of Africa, who's deeply attuned to the plants and animals around him, seems to understand much more about life than the modern people he meets when he ventures out of the desert.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: The protagonist, an African bushman from a remote part of the Kalahari desert, frames everything he sees from the perspective of someone who understands nothing of the modern world. In doing so, he demonstrates just how ridiculous, and sometimes even barbaric, "civilization" can be. He's humble and honest, and could teach everyone else in the film a few things about how to be human.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: One key part of the plot focuses on an attempted coup in an African nation, including a machine-gun massacre of government officials, followed by a madcap chase scene through the jungle as the rebels flee the army. The climax also includes a protracted gunfight, with schoolchildren caught in the middle.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Some chaste, bumbling flirting and a few scenes show a woman in her underwear as she changes clothes.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: The plot is kicked into motion by an errant Coke bottle, which is seen frequently throughout the film.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue