I’ve never completely understood the fuss over this little movie from 1980 about the adventures of an African bushman (N!xau) who finds a Coca-Cola bottle that’s fallen from an airplane. The premise is simple—the bottle turns out to have several utilitarian uses, but when his people start to fight over it, the bushman decides to go throw the thing over the “edge of the earth” and be done with it. Yes, it’s a genial, quaint little movie that is impossible to dislike. And nearly all the footage involving N!xau and his people is pretty pleasant, even if the standard humorous James Uys narration (see also his 1974 film Animals Are Beautiful People) wears thin after a while. There is, however, more to the film in terms of depicting the (naturally) unpleasant and unhappy civilized world—the kind of thing that serves to make primitive society look more desirable … at least from the comfort of your couch. Beyond that, there’s Uys’ penchant for very broad Jerry Lewis-like slapstick, and your enjoyment of that depends entirely on your penchant for said slapstick.
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