Hailed as a Masterpiece of Modern Cinema. In the wilds of Australia, aboriginal tribes observe their ancient legends and laws evolved over 40,000 years. Their culture is threatened by a giant corporation that wants to mi... more »ne in one of their aborigines' holiest sites - the place 'where the green ants dream'. As long as those dreams remain uninterrupted, the aboriginal culture will survive but if the mining company executives succeed with their plan to destroy the holy ground, the aborigines believe that their civilization - and the earth will perish. Thus starts a revolt by the world of dreams against an impatient civilization that seems to want everything but understands nothing.« less
"There is amazing beauty in the stark outback of Australia where Herzog filmed this drama. It's the simple story of Aboriginals who are trying to save their reality from the onslaught of civilization. Herzog turns the story into pure poetry which opens your mind to other versions of reality. All the characters he introduces are amazingly rich and complex. The are no absolute good or bad characters. Instead there is a world full of people who must act within the rules of their own particular realities.I'm watched it multiple times and the film always shakes my belief in the "absolute truth" of my metaphysical system. Each time I realize that perhaps my version reality is not the only possibility. This is not a bad experience, rather it opens new worlds for me to explore.I recommend this video for those who have an open mind. The video quality is so - so, but that only adds to the charm of the movie."
Bob Swain | Seattle | 07/12/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This and a few films by Aki Kaurismaki, and Wenders' American Friend are the only ones that I need to see more than once. I've seen this movie about a dozen times and its understated tragedies are compelling without shrieking. Great video, if you can find a copy. There is a good essay about this film by a follower of Jean-Francois Lyotard in the book Judging Lyotard."
Reconciling different dreams in the Australian outback
Govindan Nair | Vienna, VA United States | 09/18/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you have seen other movies by Werner Herzog (e.g. Aguirre the Wrath of God), this movie might remind you of his familiar theme of the collision of modern out-of-balance civilization with savage or state-of-nature blissful mysticism. A land dispute pits a powerful Australian mining company against a group of Aborigines who believe this sacred land is where mythical green ants dream (the title of the film). But unlike the straightforward good guy vs. bad guy movie, this plot unfolds amidst a slow but definite transformation of the characters on both sides of the dispute (and the judge who medaties the dispute), all of whom live through this encounter in different ways. Don't worry -this movie does not beat a pious message into your head."
Herzog's Mad Max
Jordan Hofer | Salem, Oregon United States | 05/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never seen a Herzog film I haven't liked, just some more than others. This is an in-betweener, but excellent, as always. Similar in stark landscapes to "Fata Morgana", "Where the Green Ants Dream" offers barren vistas, mounds of dirt, holes in the ground, and apocalyptic hovels. The character of the anthropologist sums up the film best when he describes modern Western technology and what it has done to the biosphere as a man on a train who knows the tracks ahead are out and all he can do is run to the rear of the train. Definitely one of Herzog's more accessible stories, and perfect for viewing in an anthropology course. The ending reminds me of classic J.G. Ballard, in which the dynamic character chooses desolation over re-integration into the hellish culture from which he came. And, yeah, there's a bit of "Mad Max" in the apocalyptic theme as well."
This movie become more topical as time passes
Gerard D. Launay | Berkeley, California | 07/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Modern civilization and primitive tribal groups do not have the same worldview - and it is this discrepancy that is examined in Werner Herzog's excellent Australian film. A mining company has located a terrific reserve of valuable uranium in the desert of the outback...but the only problem is that the Aboriginal elders are guarding this land as one of their holiest sites..for here the green ants dream.
These green ants - actually green termites, have a special sense that orients them to the earth's magnetism so they are wonderful predictors of weather. If their homes are dug up, then the Aborigines' universe, their sense of time and place, will be uprooted. So the people attached to the land argue in court their right to this ancestral holy spot.
Some of the village elders are depicted by wonderfully wise Bushmen. That alone makes this a fabulous film. The director treats his themss with dignity and quiet power. See it."