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This film provides a broad overview of Ju/'hoan life, both past and present, and an intimate portrait of N!ai, a Ju/'hoan woman who in 1978 was in her mid-thirties. N!ai tells her own story, and in so doing, the story of Ju/'hoan life over a thirty year period.

"Before the white people came we did what we wanted," N!ai recalls, describing the life she remembers as a child: following her mother to pick berries, roots, and nuts as the season changed; the division of giraffe meat; the kinds of rain; her resistance to her marriage to /Gunda at the age of eight; and her changing feelings about her husband when he becomes a healer. As N!ai speaks, the film presents scenes from the 1950's that show her as a young girl and a young wife.

The uniqueness of N!ai may lie in its tight integration of ethnography and history. While it portrays the changes in Ju/'hoan society over thirty years, it never loses sight of the individual, N!ai.

Filmmaker: John Marshall, Adrienne Miesmer

Comments (4)

Alex avatar

A great film, worth watching more than once by anyone interested to learn about other human beings.

Anonymous picture

I love N!ai. Powerful storytelling. Great editing and weaving together footage over a 20 year period. I feel like I got to know her and her community.

Anonymous picture

Any one who has seen 'The Gods Must Be Crazy' NEEDS to watch this film.

Anonymous picture

As an Indigenous South African - I can tell you The Gods Must Be Crazy is inherently and violently racist and offensive to my people. Go educate yourself.