Society and Culture- Content Analysis of "The Gods Must Be Crazy"

Essay by chokolatHigh School, 11th gradeA+, May 2007

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The study of Society and Culture involves the exploration of the interactions between persons, society and culture in the environment through time. These interactions are quite evident and clearly displayed in the film "The Gods Must be Crazy". The intertwining connection/s between these fundamental concepts is shown through the portrayal of the two different societies; the tribes of the Kalahari and 'Western' society.

The environment plays a big part throughout the movie. The film originally begins with an establishing shot of the African desert and its wildlife. We are introduced by the narrator, "it is a beautiful landscape devoid of people, because people need water to live, except the little people. They know what to do about food and water. You can dig for food and for water you can put a leaf on the ground, leave it overnight, and drink the dew in the morning." Such narration highlights the harshness of the desert environment, but also depicts how the Kalahari tribe which the movie focuses on has adapted to their environment and successfully learnt how to survive in the harsh terrain.

There are constant references to persons and their societies and they way in which both the individuals themselves and society as a whole interact with their environment. Adaptation is vital for the survival of any environment. The Kalahari have adapted their technology, culture, society etcetera to suit their environment. For example, they are a nomadic tribe, so they live in quickly constructible and easily destructible abodes, making it easier for them to continually move around. They live in small tight knit communities/tribes, which primarily consist of the informal institution of the family unit. Because of their environment it is essential for the Kalahari to live as a joint unit. For example because of the large size...