“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.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Australian Films
- Mining Towns
- Native Peoples
- Race Relations and Racism
- Werner Herzog Films
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
- Many typically Herzog-ian panning shots of vast landscapes
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.