Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)

“We mustn’t disturb the dreaming of the green ants; we mustn’t talk the green ants up.”

When an Australian mining company tries to conduct geological tests on sacred land, Aborigines stage a protest, and their struggle soon goes to court.


Iconoclastic German director Werner Herzog remains somewhat unique in his lifelong commitment to making both narrative and documentary films — with significant overlap between the two. Indeed, Where the Green Ants Dream is a classic example of Herzog’s refusal to draw a fine line between fiction and reality, with the titular Aboriginal “myth” created out of whole cloth by Herzog himself. Unfortunately, Green Ants’ title remains the most creative thing about it: the screenplay is stilted and overly sincere, the acting is fairly awful, and, despite its compelling subject matter, the movie as a whole fails to engage. This one is only for true Herzog fans.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Striking imagery of Australian Aborigines refusing to deviate from their long-held beliefs
    WTGAD Aborigines
  • Many typically Herzog-ian panning shots of vast landscapes
    WTGAD Landscapes

Must See?
No. As one of Herzog’s more self-indulgent films, this will likely only be of interest to true fans of his work. Listed as a Sleeper and a Personal Recommendation in the back of Peary’s book.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.