The movie of the Gods must be crazy shows a blunt distinction among the cultures of the Bushmen and modern societies within communications amongst members from two very different cultures. There are many obvious differences in the characters actions, values and divergent worldly perspectives. This movie shows variations between anthropological culture and ethnocentrism. In a Bushmen culture it was very peaceful and had no social classes. I noticed that neither discipline nor was anything severe ever said to the youngsters who were unpredictably really disciplined. The Bushmen would put the highest value on their close ones and their connection with God, (which ties in with Chapter 12 and religion that we just recently covered).
The people have an immense respect to any forms of life breathing or not breathing. After watching this movie a few times something got my attention. The Bushman fire at an animal with a sedative projectile and patiently await until the animal lies down completely still then kill it, later asking forgiveness for executing it by explaining that it was a means of survival for his family. This act revealed that the Bushmen hunted only out of requirement and never for fun. This revealed hunting was a form of survival not a means of fun as it is in modern cultures now. They survived in conditions which civilized people would probably see as filthy; but the Bushman seemed to be satisfied with this lifestyle.
What was the most unusual part from Bushmen culture to me is the whole absence of encounters between their people. This culture seemed like they don’t have a theory of possessions whether private nor personal plus they willingly would share nourishment between one another (which would tie in with chapter 9 on stratification and more specifically cooperatives). This situation changed shortly after they discovered a gift from the Gods, what was really a thrown out bottle of coke. They discovered that it could be form of entertainment/toy/tool. It turned out to be the first rare source that drove them apart. It made the Bushmen start fights for its use and ownership showing their dominance in my perspective; quickly realizing that it was a very horrible and must be thrown away.
Current society differs greatly between the peaceful Bushmen. Our society travels with an extremely increasing speed with every year. It’s a society filled with alarms, freeways and plenty of caffeine to increase that speed even more. If you slow down and think about it, our culture has meaning in everything. For example, at eight o clock it’s usually time to get up and start the day, whereas twelve o clock would be a time to go grab a bite. Every day is extremely filled with plans and can get very disordered. In a Bushman society it’s basically completely revolving around a relationship with God and loved ones, but in my opinion modern society revolves around a craze for money.
The two cultures have a wonderful difference in views with numerous manners of the characters in this movie. The first I would have to say would be both cultures typical view of true beauty/attractiveness. Kate Thompson in the views of western society is a good-looking, lovely female who was skinny; light haired with a very delightful appearance. In the views of the Bushmen on the other hand; Kate wasn’t seen as such a gorgeous woman, but believed that she was the ugliest creature they had ever seen.
Bushman viewed Kate’s hair to be snowy or white like an old lady would have had it. Another difference between these two cultures is an occurrence of fear. Most characters in the movie who originated in current culture accustomed to inevitably fright to the scene of strangers and would assume the worst from other people, but the Bushmen were different. A Bushman wasn’t fearful of a gun/weapon, as he picked it up he viewed it to be just some funny looking stick.
However, when the white man was put in place of the Bushmen, he was scared and accustomed by modern society to fear the gun/weapon because of all its destructiveness that lied within it. In the movie there was a wild animal approaching and Mr. Stein hurdled himself completely onto Kate in effort of cautioning her to the approaching animal. Miss Thompsons reflex assumes the worst and she if full of fear thinking that he is attempting to do some kind of harm or rape her. The Bushman on the other only thinks that when they act strangely towards him.
Towards the end I believe a really intriguing mix happens between the two cultures when the Bushmen is detained because of his butchering he does to a goat. Modern society views that he had broken the law by slaughtering this goat which is why he was led to court, of course in his eyes he was simply just hunting down food like any other day of his life and had never seen it as a breaking the law. It was kind of funny as he had come into this court room smiling but yet confused as to why no one would smile back his way.
Then the judgment couldn’t be interpreted because the Bushmen never had a term/word guilty in their dictionary. The Bushmen would do all sorts of stuff that would seem abnormal just because he was from a different culture, such as speaking to an ape. As the ape grabbed the bottle of coke; all that he did was quietly explain to the ape that he probably shouldn’t be holding on to it because of all the misery that came off of it towards his family. The Bushmen didn’t communicate with the baboon seeing at as a crazed up animal but as someone equal to him or anyone else. He put himself into risk helping a white man flea from a starving lion that was approaching his way; although the white man’s society or in other words modern society would worry about saving their own skins first. I thought an astonishing variance was the worth of money. Towards the end of the movie a white man insisted on giving the Bushman money but rejected the offer because the Bushmen had saw no value in it and had threw it away.
There were countless amazing points in the movie the Gods must be crazy which gave me a new perspective of how I think about culture overall. After watching the movie the second time I realized that the Bushmen appear to have absolutely nothing and yet has the whole enchilada at the same time. Compared to society now they lack many things like a means of transportation, electricity and big households, but yet they have one very important thing that only a handful of few people ever succeed to gain even with all those things and that is real happiness, and I strongly see that their foundation from all this joy and happiness comes within their loved ones and God. Today’s society focuses a majority of life pursuing what is only temporary and essentially not satisfying; pouring out that very life into something that will never last. Modern society is prideful in itself on supposedly making life tranquil and more capable; the truth is we have only made it harder.
Courtney from Study Moose
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