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Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)
"Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  8 February 1985 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,162 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

The geologist Lance Hackett is employed by an Australian mining company to map the subsoil of a desert area covered with ant hills prior to a possible uranium extraction. His work is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lance Hackett
Wandjuk Marika ...
Miliritbi
Roy Marika ...
Dayipu
...
Cole
Norman Kaye ...
Baldwin Ferguson
Ralph Cotterill ...
Fletcher
Nick Lathouris ...
Arnold
Basil Clarke ...
Judge Blackburn
Ray Marshall ...
Solicitor General Coulthard
Dhungala I. Makika
Gary Williams ...
Watson
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ...
Fitzsimmons
Robert Brissenden
Michael Edols ...
Young attorney
Bob Ellis ...
Supermarket manager
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Storyline

The geologist Lance Hackett is employed by an Australian mining company to map the subsoil of a desert area covered with ant hills prior to a possible uranium extraction. His work is impeded by some aborigines who explain that this is the place where the green ants dream. Disturbing their dreaming will destroy humanity they claim. Hackett informs the company which offers various "solutions" such as a large amount of money or a percentage of a possible revenue. Invited on a trip to a city some of the aborigines sees a military aeroplane and express the wish to own it. The company buys it and gives it to the aborigines as a sign of good will. A runway is made in the desert and the plane is flown to the location. All negotiations concerning the area fail and the dispute goes to a court of the Commonwealth. Parties and experts are heard, obstacles are met such as an aborigine who is the sole survivor of his tribe (and language) and therefore no-one understands what he is saying. Two of ... Written by Frank Dabelstein <frank@dabelstein.dk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

ant | plane | mining | desert | green ant | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Where the Green Ants Dream  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Werner Herzog has revealed on DVD commentary that this movie is dedicated to his mother, who died at the time when the movie was made. See more »

Quotes

Miliritbi: You white men are lost. You don't understand the land. Too many silly questions. Your presence on this earth will come to an end. You have no sense. No purpose. No direction.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #8.4 (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Hanky Panky
(uncredited)
Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
Watson sings the first line twice
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Slightly interesting but completely unnecessary
11 June 2013 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

At first, "Where The Green Ants Dream" sounds like something really interesting and very intriguing. While in there, the ultimate worthy value is of its entertainment purpose, since the artistic merits of it are quite simplistic. It is what it can be and no more than that. It's a good film, and can only be that. Great doesn't fit such unnecessary project empty of ideas.

The movie deals with a strange impasse between a mineral company which wants to explore an aborigine land, and the proclaimers of such land, the native who claim the company will destroy their land and will disturb the sleep and dreams of some green ants who inhabit there, and those ants contain to power to destroy the whole world, if they were to be destroyed. Trying to settle down the issue is a company man (Bruce Spence) who each day goes by seems more inclined in protecting the aborigine and their traditions. Money and other offers are made to them but they refuse all of them...until the day they see an airplane and they want it. A trade seems to be made. Only seems cause the natives don't sign any paper and still refuse the exploration of the land.

That kind of subject was covered in plenty of films, and better ones. Like "Lemon Tree" where a simple tree stands on the way between the Israel/Palestine conflicts. And real life has thousands of stories like this happening, about land expropriation in exchange of profit. The more "Where the Green Ants Dream" unfolds the more it becomes unnatural, forced and devoided of any kind of necessity to exist. Why must we see this? Well, what drags most viewers to this is the name of Werner Herzog behind the credits, an important director, indeed, but very little of his greatness is present in this project. The story goes up and down, our interest goes on and off from time to time mainly because of its characters, who should be sympathetic as they are in other movies, instead they're quite annoying, simple-minded, I couldn't care about anyone in here. I couldn't be on the company side and neither on the natives side. The latter was more of a case that I felt they weren't being real, they were inventing that ants story. It baffles me why the story haven't turned into more obscure and dangerous results. No, instead we have the plane being hijacked by a native who keeps singing "My baby does the hanky panky".

Herzog wasn't tasteless with this film, he just didn't make this a more vital and relevant piece to the audience. 6/10


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