Darwin's Nightmare

Darwin's Nightmare

Darwinova noční můra

  • Hubert Sauper
  • Austria
  • 2004, 107 min
Script: Hubert Sauper
Photography: Hubert Sauper
Editing: Denise Vindevogel
Sound: Veronika Hlawatsch, Cosmas Antoniadis
Color: Colour

From the banks of Lake Victoria in Tanzania planes take off daily with loads of fish headed for the tables of noble restaurants in Europe and Japan. Thanks to the volume of consumption the fishing industry is one of the most important sources of income in the local economy. Fish factories have also led to the establishment of small colonies, whose inhabitants are dying from AIDS, alcohol and crime.

The authors of this film met with fishermen, representatives of the World Bank, homeless children, African ministers, European commissioners, prostitutes, and the Ukrainians who pilot the planes and smuggle weapons.

The film was shot using various guises, so that in the end it was possible to present an uncompromising picture of the causes and results of this desperate situation in suggestive testimony about the new balance of the world.

Everything began in the 60's, when the Nile perch was introduced into the largest tropical lake in the world. It was an experiment, but the predaceous fish soon multiplied to the point that it brought about the complete extinction of the other original fish species in the lake.

The guard that guards the fish halls admits that he hopes for a war to break out, because without it the men have no work. Two types of aggression are linked in this film, which importantly questions the role of Europe from the banks of the African lake. Western social stability is perhaps being fed by means that for a humane society are not acceptable.

The director reveals a run-down form of civil society, where the economically powerful thoughtlessly exploit the labour force but do not devote the slightest attention to the democratic development of opinion and will. On the contrary, they try to preserve a state of internal violence, which allows them to maintain external power.

In the global perspective the film points to one fundamental change: if colonisation introduced the ideas, symbols and rights of the conqueror into the conquered land, then globalisation has fully preserved the will of profit, but has remained only and exclusively a platform for profit.

Photo Gallery

Celluloid Dreams / France / info@celluloid­dreams.com
Festival edition: 2005
Sections: Between the Seas
Awards: Special Mention of the Between the Seas Jury
Exhibition format: 35 mm


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