Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Film Darwin's Nightmare (Hubert Sauper, 2004)

Tonight I attended a popular showing, followed by a panel discussion, of Darwin's Nightmare that was shown as part of the Duke University Screen Society. It was a sobering film, worth seeing though it seemed it could have benefited from a little bit of editing down, that portrayed a rather hopeless situation for sub-Saharan Africa - in this case, Tanzania. From the Screen Society website:
Some time in the 1960's, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world. Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo and Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent. This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalized alliance on the shores of the world's biggest tropical lake: an army of local fishermen, World bank agents, homeless children, African ministers, EU-commissioners, Tanzanian prostitutes and Russian pilots.


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