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

R  |   |  Drama  |  8 February 1985 (USA)
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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 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?


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 »


Lance Hackett: The situation, your Honor, is this man is the the sacred custodian to the secrets of this tribe. And his tribe has died out. He is the sole and final survivor of his people, his clan. They call him the mute, because there is nobody left on this earth for him to speak with.
See more »


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


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

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User Reviews

Excellent study on human nature....
26 February 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This film has been ignored by the mainstream media. It portrays the futile struggle of an Aboriginal tribe against the needs of civilization. From the first confrontation you know how it will end, but you keep hoping that perhaps the mindless and soul-less rush of progress won't wipe out one more culture.

Herzog captures the story in a series of vignettes, each one expressing a fleeting thought or detail.

At one point Bruce Spence is trying to explain his theory of space and time to one of the elders, who rebukes him. His reply to the elder is "I'm trying to understand, really I am." The movie is a predecessor to "Rabbit Proof Fence". It makes you realize that as a society we just don't get it.

I highly recommend it.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why is this film so unkown? gorthaurrockatansky
Flawed film but still needs a wider audience powdep
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