WHERE THE GREEN ANTS DREAM (German: Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen)
is a 1984 film by German film director
Werner Herzog . It was Herzog's
first film in English. Based partly on the Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd
case and making use of professional actors as well as Aboriginal
activists who were involved in the case, it was a mix of facts and
fiction. The ant mythology was claimed as Herzog's own, but some
natives did consider the green ant as the totem animal that created
the world and humans.
Wandjuk Marika noted that the ant dreaming
belief existed in a clan that lived near Oenpelli in the Northern
Territory. The film is set in the Australian desert and is about a
land feud between a mining company called Ayers (based on Nabalco )
and the native Aborigines . The Aborigines claim that an area the
mining company wishes to work on is the place where green ants dream,
and that disturbing them will destroy humanity. The film was entered
1984 Cannes Film Festival
1984 Cannes Film Festival .
Marika, recommended to Herzog by
Phillip Adams , was a leader for the
Rirratjingu people, an artist and musician who was involved in
activism for Aboriginal rights. His didgeridoo music is used in the
movie and several members of his family were cast in the film. The
contract with Herzog allowed the Marikas to make enough money to move
from Yirrkala to their ancestral region of Yalanbara, Port Bradshaw.
Critics of the film found it uncomfortably placed between a
documentary and a feature film.
Phillip Adams was particularly
incensed and claimed that the film implied that the Australian
Government was against the Aborigines, leading him to write an article
titled Dammit Herzog, you are a Liar!'.
Bruce Spence as Lance Hackett
Wandjuk Marika as Miliritbi
Roy Marika as Dayipu
Ray Barrett as Cole
Norman Kaye as Baldwin Ferguson
* Ralph Cotterill as Fletcher
* Nick Lathouris as Arnold
* Basil Clarke as Judge Blackburn
* Ray Marshall as Solicitor General Coulthard
* Dhungala I. Makika
* Gary Williams as Watson
* Tony Llewellyn-Jones as Fitzsimmons
* Robert Brissenden
* Michael Edols as young attorney
Bob Ellis as supermarket manager
Paul Cox as photographer
James Ricketson as Philip Adams , mining leader
Colleen Clifford as Miss Strehlow
* ^ A B C Hurley, AW (2006) "Re-imagining Milirrpum v Nabalco in
Werner Herzog's Where the Green Ants Dream. Passages: law, aesthetics,
politics 2006, Australia.
* ^ "Festival de Cannes: Where the Green Ants Dream".
festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 23 June 2009.
* ^ Adams, P (1984), "Dammit Herzog, You Are a Liar!", The Weekend
Australian Magazine, 2–3 June, p. 2.
* ^ cf.
Walter Baldwin Spencer
Walter Baldwin Spencer
* ^ "The wrath of Herzog" by
Phillip Adams ,
The Australian (11
* ^ cf. Ted Strehlow