Listening to World Music: The Gods Must Be Crazy

Несмотря на то, что я вряд ли смогу получить сертификат по курсу мировой музыки (одну домашнюю работу я вообще не сделала, а ещё одну не успела сдать в срок), я всё-таки сделала последнее письменное задание курса. Следующая неделя будет итоговой и закончится тестовым экзаменом, который я попробую сдать. Материала для повторения уже очень много, но у меня позади инфак УлГПУ, так что отступать некуда :)
На этой неделе лекции были посвящены Бушменам пустыни Калахари. Уникальная культура и жизненная философия, о которой я продолжаю читать с немалым интересом, практически истреблена, и, к сожалению, многовековая история не стала этому помехой. В общем на этой неделе я больше сконцентрировалась не на музыке, а на культуре и повседневной жизни, хотя и с музыкой тоже ознакомилась.
В качестве темы для домашнего задания я выбрала приключенческую комедию «Наверное, боги сошли с ума» (1980). Если вы не видели этот фильм, то обязательно посмотрите. Похоже, что это единственная художественная кинокартина о бушменах, если не считать нескольких сиквелов.

Вот трейлер:


А это моё сочинение:

I was fascinated with “The Gods Must Be Crazy” trailer so I decided to watch the movie and to take the above assignment. After I watched the film I read lots of additional articles about it and about Bushmen’s life and history.

I can’t say that “The Gods Must Be Crazy” is the best movie I’ve ever seen but for sure it’s memorable and unique. I don’t know any other art film about Bushmen. I tried to search it on the web having skimmed through 10 pages of Google search results in vain. There are only documentaries. Most of all I was interested in the trustworthiness of Bushmen’s everyday life description in “The Gods Must Be Crazy”.

1-Let me start from the language. The movies shows a quiet enunciation when Bushmen talk. I shall not discuss the words choice correctness because I don’t know khoisan languages but speaking in a low voice is peculiar to Bushmen because they don’t want to scare away the prey when they come close to it.

2-Water extraction is a sophisticated matter in the Kalahari Desert. It’s true that Bushmen extract the water from the earth digging deep holes and sucking the water through a stem. Moreover each settlement has a secret well which is concealed properly so that no one else could find it.

3-Non-property philosophy really exists among Bushmen. They always share food with other congeners and get support in need. There is a story about a little Bushman who found an edible fruit. The boy could eat it alone and no one would have seen him but he brought the boon to his settlement to share it with the others. Nevertheless I think that it was an ironic exaggeration when a coke bottle provoked quarrels and scuffles among Bushmen. In my opinion the bottle symbolized the West progress trap shown in another story line.

4-Another interesting aspect of Bushmen’s life philosophy is in their respect to nature and animals. There is an episode where Xi (the main character) is trying to persuade a baboon to throw the bottle away. He explains patiently that the bottle brings troubles and it’s better to get rid of it. He doesn’t take it away or harm the baboon. He only talks to it as with an equal. In another scene before killing an antelope he explains that his family needs some food and he apologies. This respectful treatment contradicts West consumers’ world where people take whatever they want just because they can do it and imagine themselves to be owners of the whole planet. It’s true, the Bushmen cooperate and West people govern. The most tragic fact is that “this respectful” is almost exterminated by “that oppressing”.

5-As we saw Xi was shot in the leg. Despite the wound he was able to go and a few days later he could run and jump. I didn’t pay any attention to this moment thinking it was just a goof. Maybe it really was a goof but the fact is that Bushmen are very viable. They can stand a strong pain and do not need much time to recover. It is also known that when a group of Bushmen is moving from one place to another, a woman in childbirth leaves the group and then overtake it with her newborn child.

6-Bushmen are skilful hunters. They can find animals’ path even on a rocky soil. Therefore an episode where Xi is looking for the lost panther path is based on real abilities of the Bushmen. The same thing can be said about Xi who put on a girl’s wear, come very close to dangerous guerillas and put them to sleep with a special substance without being noticed. I was really astonished to know that when a Bushman hunts ostrich he puts on an ostrich skin, raises its head on a stick, penetrates the flock and twist the feather on-the-run as the real birds do.

All these facts make us sure that the movie is not just a funny fairy-tale but we should remember about the terrific side of Bushmen life. The sweet illusion of “The Gods Must Be Crazy” is that Bushmen live in the Kalahari desert and no not know about people beyond. The bitter reality is shown in documentaries and written articles about actual genocide and depreciation of the unique culture and life as a whole.

Sources (all of them are in Russian but it’s possible to translate with any on-line translation system):

http://www.saga.ua/43_articles_showarticle_1239.html
http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91%D1%83%D1%88%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%8B
http://overtone.ru/articles/?content=item&item=471

P.S. Наверное, за русские ссылки мне предстоит получить несколько минусов.

Кстати, пока я слушала передачу Музпросвета о бушменах, нарисовала вот такую картинку:

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  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000370762451 Olga Malakhova

    За эту работу я получила 8 баллов из 10. Вот такие комментарии мне оставили:

    student1 → A well organised and interesting response but I dont think you probe deep enough into the issues of depicting Khoisan peoples as comedic, of the inequity of distribution following the success of the film and of how much the film serves to depict the Khoisan as a distant ‘other’.

    student2 → Nice decomposition of the movie elements, very informative.

    student3 → Your opinion for the video is almost complete, except you didn’t include your music opinion in your essay.

    student4 → I could tell you did a lot of outside reading, but your response didn’t quite flow together and I wasn’t sure if you supported your over-all thesis—that the movie was an authentic representation of the Bushman.

    student5 → Thank you for an informative essay that was a pleasure to read. The only flaw is that it appears to be a recitation of facts, it’s weak in the areas of critical response and connection to major themes of the course. Half a point off for each of those.

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