Where the Green Ants Dream (Wo die Grünen Ameisen Träumen) (1985)
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as Lance Hackett
as Baldwin Ferguson
as Prof. Stanner
as RAAF Pilot
as Mongoloid Girl
as Mining Photographer
as RAAF Pilot
as Police Officer
as Protocol Officer
as Malila "the Mute"
as Strange Aborigine
as Peevish Woman
as Daisy Barunga
as Judge Blackburn
as Solicitor General Coulthard
as Young attorney
as Supermarket manager
as Mining executive
as Philip Adams the Mining Leader
as Miss Strehlow
Critic Reviews for Where the Green Ants Dream (Wo die Grünen Ameisen Träumen)
As a conventional narrative, it's extremely simple and fairly slapdash, but it's never simple-minded, being too full of moments of inspired craziness and wisdom.
Made in Australia, this effort is a slight, by-the-numbers rehash of Herzog's increasingly offensive noble savage theme.
The director's eye shifts from the indigenous totem poles being celebrated to the less waxen eccentrics swarming in the sidelines
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Audience Reviews for Where the Green Ants Dream (Wo die Grünen Ameisen Träumen)
The worst film I've seen from Herzog yet still a moving work. The problem with this film is the problem Herzog himself has with it - it's too overtly political in certain areas. We have long speeches about the plight of the Aborigine where we could have used pure images to make a statement. He compromised, learned from his mistakes and moved on. Nevertheless, few in the history of cinema have provided more compelling images than Herzog: Aborigines almost get buried by a bulldozer, congregate in a supermarket where a sacred tree once stood, fly off with a plane, etc. Even when the master is off, he makes outstanding contributions to cinema.
Alarmingly mainstream for Herzog. One can imagine Paul Newman in the Bruce Spence role, or maybe Jeff Goldblum. It's got some of Herzog's usual fascinations (ethnography, nature, airplanes) but you might not guess it was one of his movies if you didn't know beforehand. Not that there's anything wrong with a director trying to break out of his style, but it's jarring (and somewhat disappointing) to see him tackle such a conventional "message" movie. Kind of ho-hum but it has moments.
As most of my friends know, I am a really big fan of Werner Herzog and his films. Where the Green Ants Dream was Werner's last non- documentary until the release of Invincible almost 16 years after this film. Werner Herzog creates interesting films that may or may not always make sense in the conventional way, but at the same time, they draw you in and move you in their strange ways. Where the Green Ants Dream is a more conventional film, though still complete with its Herzog-ian strangeness fully intact. Telling its story in the outback of Australia, the film covers the story of a construction/ mining company wanting to take advantage of some Aboriginal land. The natives though, are trying to protect their land as best as they can, as it is their sacred land. What follows is a clash of cultures, values, and ideals as the two groups interact. The beauty lies in the open way the film is presented. It has intended messages, of that there is no doubt, like the way the civilized world is destroying the natural beauty of the world, and erasing any form of cultural individuality. But it is also about spiritualism, religion, blind faith, and the role of the mystical in our world. Our main character Lance Hacket, a geologist for the company, interacts with the Aborigines and learns that the land he is in charge of investigating is sacred ground (see the title) which is apparently home to green ants that are dreaming. The ants also apparently have the ability to destroy the world if disturbed. Lance sees the beauty in the beliefs of the people, and the respect they have for what little they have left. By the end he moves out into a metal house in the middle of the outback, disgusted by the materialistic world, and the path of destruction left in its wake. Beautifully shot, wonderfully quirky, and completely engrossing, Where the Green Ants Dream stands as one of Herzog's best films. It may not be the most accessible film (those looking for something a little easier to get into should try Grizzly Man or Rescue Dawn), but it is worth every minute!
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