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.
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. –IMDb
Hubert Sauper (b. 27 July 1966, Kitzbühel, Tyrol, Austria) is a documentary filmmaker best known for the highly controversial Darwin’s Nightmare (2004) which was nominated for an Academy Award. While In 2003 Nile perch earned 169 million Euros in sales to the EU, large scale fishing operations have displaced many local people from their traditional occupations in the fishing trade and brought them into the cash economy.
Sauper has lived in the UK, Italy, and the USA and now lives in France. He studied film directing in universities in Vienna and France. He teaches film classes in Europe and the USA.
He acted in several short films and two feature length films: In The Circle Of The Iris, directed by Peter Patzak, (with Philippe Léotard), and Blue Distance, directed by Peter Schreiner.
His two latest documentaries have received twelve International Film Prizes. —Wikipedia
I contacted Richard Mgaba after having seen the film, the Tanzanian journalist who is interviewed in the film. He told me he was prosecuted and thrown into jail after the release of the film. Today he works on two different projects about africa, one on war and the other on drug trafficing. He is also writing a book about Africa. In the film I was impressed with how sharp he was. He gives me hope.
I’ve seen more impressive filmmaking but few more important films, and Darwin’s Nightmare is one of the strangest and most affecting films I’ve ever seen. For starters it doesn’t have a narrative… read review