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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)
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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

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 »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Voice in the wilderness
Music by Ernest Bloch
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User Reviews

 
Excellent study on human nature....
26 February 2004 | by wlebingSee 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.


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