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

R  |   |  Drama  |  8 February 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,402 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 8 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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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lance Hackett
Wandjuk Marika ...
Roy Marika ...
Norman Kaye ...
Baldwin Ferguson
Ralph Cotterill ...
Nick Lathouris ...
Basil Clarke ...
Judge Blackburn
Ray Marshall ...
Solicitor General Coulthard
Dhungala I. Makika
Gary Williams ...
Tony Llewellyn-Jones ...
Robert Brissenden
Michael Edols ...
Young attorney
Bob Ellis ...
Supermarket manager


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>

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Plot Keywords:

ant | plane | mining | desert | green ant | See All (54) »




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Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Where the Green Ants Dream  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Two names used for characters ("Baldwin Ferguson" and "Miss Strehlow") provide links with anthropologists noted for their work on Australian aborigines. Baldwin Spencer (1860-1929) was a British-Australian anthropologist who did pioneering studies on aborigines. Theodor George Henry Strehlow (1908-1978) was noted for his studies on the Arunta/ Arende people of Central Australia. See more »


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 »


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


Written by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

How would you like it if Someone Tore Down Your Church?
7 October 2003 | by (Phoenix, AZ) – See all my reviews

I would classify this movie as being Herzog's most mainstream (which I know isn't saying that much), but still, for a movie that takes place in possibly the most minimalist setting (a stretch of land on the Australian outback littered with the remains of drilling for minerals) I found it absolutely engrossing. This is the movie: A group of aborigines refuse to budge from a small strip of land when a mining company wants to occupy it for drilling purposes; their reason: `This is the land where the green ants dream'. When one of the aborigines is asked why they will not budge even after offered a lucrative settlement, he responds, `How would you like it if someone drove a bulldozer over your church.' Immediately I knew this movie would work. It is a very good film, possibly one of the most finely put together movies I can think of. Rather than being an all and out movie that puts down imperialism, civilization, and national need to exploit resources.it raises some interesting questions about ownership and the present destruction of ancient civilizations. My one fault with the movie is that you know when Herzog is setting things up for an awe-inspired moment, and it does get a little dry toward the end, but still a grand achievement.

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