A documentary on the effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania's Lake Victoria. The predatory fish, which has wiped out the native species, is sold in European supermarkets, while starving Tanzanian families have to make do with the leftovers.
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The larger scope of the story explores the gun trade to Africa that takes place under the covers -- Russian pilots fly guns into Africa, then fly fish back out to Europe. The hazards and consequences of this trade are explored, including the pan-African violence propagated by constant flow of weapons into the continent. If it is a "survival of the fittest" world, as Darwin concluded, then the capitalist interests that fund the gun runners are climbing the evolutionary ladder on the backs of the Africans in this stark Darwinian example. Much like the foreseeable extinction of the Lake Victoria perch, and death of Lake Victoria itself, the Africans are in grave jeopardy, even as they survive in the only ways they know how. Written by
Erin Willis <email@example.com>
A real documentary, in that the filmmakers let the viewer form their own conclusions
I find the earlier criticism laughable...and sad, in that we're so used to Michael Moore esquire films now that shove their meanings down our throats that when something comes along that makes you actually have to think...and draw your own conclusions, everyone is up in arms.
Darwin's Nightmare is a look at the economic and social impact of one small decision made fifty years ago-the release of a bucket full of Nile Perch into Lake Victoria. Over time, these fish have eaten everything else in the lake, yet have also spawned a huge export business of whitefish fillets to Europe. The film records the huge cost this business has exacted on the Tanzanian community. They share in none of the profits and all of the consequences from a corrupt state, exploitation from overseas business interests and the collision of modern technology with a social infrastructure left in shambles by decades of war and poverty.
Without commentary from the filmmakers, or the popular "cut and paste" bombast of so many current documentarians, we are forced to draw our own conclusions. There are no villains among the people we meet on screen, yet everyone plays their role in a desperate human tragedy.
A real eye opener, maybe the closest many of us will ever get to the appalling conditions many endure the world over through no fault of their own save the place of their birth.
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