Gods Must Be Crazy

Xi and his San tribe of Ju’/Hoansi bushmen are living happily in the Kalahari Desert, far away from Western civilization. One day, a glass Coca-Cola bottle is carelessly thrown out of an airplane by a pilot and falls to Earth unbroken. Initially, Xi’s people assume this strange artifact is a “present” from the gods just as they believe plants and animals are and find many uses for it. Unlike other bounties, however, there is only one glass bottle, which causes unforeseen conflict within the tribe. Consequently, Xi confers with elders and agrees to make a pilgrimage to the edge of the world and dispose of the supposedly cursed thing.

Along the way, he encounters diverse people, such as: biologist Andrew Steyn, who is studying the wildlife; Steyn’s assistant and mechanic, M’pudi; Kate Thompson, the newly hired village school teacher; a band of guerrillas led by Sam Boga, who are being pursued by government troops after a failed assassination attempt; and a snobbish safari tour guide named Jack Hind.

When Xi, hungry, happens upon a herd of goats, he shoots one with a tranquilizer arrow, but is caught and jailed. M’pudi, who once lived with the San and still speaks Xi’s language, concludes that Xi will die if kept incarcerated. He and Steyn consequently apply to employ Xi as a tracker for the remainder of his sentence in lieu of prison, teaching him even how to drive Steyn’s Land Rover. Meanwhile, the guerrillas invade Kate’s school and take her and the students as human shields for their escape to a neighbouring country.

Steyn, M’pudi, and Xi immersed in their fieldwork find that they are along the terrorists’ chosen path. They manage to immobilize the guerrillas using makeshift tranquilizer darts launched by Xi with a tiny, silent, and concealable bow that M’pudi and Xi fabricate, and save Kate and the children. However, Jack Hind arrives and takes away Kate, taking credit for the rescue that Steyn, M’pudi and Xi had actually planned and executed. With Xi’s term over, Steyn pays his wages and sends him on his way.

Steyn and M’pudi discuss their small endeavors. When Steyn finally tells Kate about his shy and awkward nature around her, Kate finds it endearing and they begin a relationship.

Xi eventually arrives at God’s Window, the top of a cliff with a solid layer of low-lying clouds obscuring the landscape below. Convinced that he has reached the edge of the world, he throws the bottle off the cliff, and returns to his tribe.