7.1/10
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15 user 15 critic

Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)

Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen (original title)
R | | Drama | 8 February 1985 (USA)
A geologist employed by an Australian mining company finds himself disputing the rights of some aborigines who believe their land to be sacred.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writers:

Werner Herzog, Bob Ellis (additional dialogue)
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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.
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Connections

Referenced in Atomic Footprints (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Hanky Panky
(uncredited)
Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich
Watson sings the first line twice
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User Reviews

where the green ants dream, a film that begs the question, where do we dream
6 January 2008 | by lblarson1See all my reviews

I really liked this movie. I liked the respect that was offered and given by both the native demonstrators and the geologist. This film prompted thought, thought about what is valued when death approaches, whether that is seen as death of an individual or a people. The mining company stands on the foundation of its legal right to proceed with what the contemporary civilization values, and some scoff the values of the natives. But if we listen we hear that is something we all must address when asking of ourselves what is sacred and will we protect and defend that in the face of our own extinction, because clearly the law is not designed to protect the sacred, but to settle a dispute. We are an amalgam of the characters, the native voice that seeks self perpetuation of tribe and story, the company voice that works for progress and acquisition of wealth, the mediator and thinker voice that comes through the geologist, and the law which strives of order in chaos. These tensions of the human condition, are made so vivid in the land and skies of the Australian outback.


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Details

Country:

West Germany | Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where the Green Ants Dream See more »

Filming Locations:

Australia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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