The film ran for 532 consecutive days at the Oaks Theaters in Cupertino, California, setting a record for the longest uninterrupted run of any movie in Northern California. It was pulled only because the film reels fell into disrepair and a large section caught fire. After such a long run, replacing the reels was too expensive.
Due to an informal international embargo against South Africa, the film was released as a Botswanan film, despite having a South African director and being financed with South African government funds.
The films' depictions of the Bushmen, even if they were superficially accurate prior to regular contact with civilisation, was already no longer accurate in 1980. The DVD's special feature "Journey to Nyae Nyae" (N!xau's homeland in northeastern Namibia), filmed in 2003, demonstrates this.
While working 14 to 18 hour days for months on end, and with no days off, director Jamie Uys suffered a heart attack during the post-production process. An assistant editor from Hollywood was hired to assist Uys while he recuperated.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
In the final scene, Xi throws the bottle over a cliff. This scene was filmed at God's Window, a site located at the edge of the escarpment between the Highveld and Lowveld, in the province of Mpumalanga, South Africa.