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Darwin's Nightmare



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Darwin's Nightmare is a 2004 film written and directed by Hubert Sauper. It was nominated for... more
Product information "Darwin's Nightmare"

Darwin's Nightmare is a 2004 film written and directed by Hubert Sauper. It was nominated for Best Documentary Film at the 78th Academy Awards.
The film starts with a Soviet made Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane's landing on Mwanza airfield in Tanzania, near Lake Victoria. The plane came from Europe to ship back processed filets of Nile Perch, a species of fish introduced into Lake Victoria that has caused the extinction of hundreds of native species.
Through interviews with the Russian and Ukrainian plane crew, local factory owners, guards, prostitutes, fishermen and other villagers, the film discusses the effects of the introduction of the Nile Perch to Lake Victoria, how it has affected the ecosystem and economy of the region. The film also dwells at length on the dichotomy between the huge amount of European aid which is being funneled into Africa, and yet at the same time the flow of munitions and weapons from European arms dealers flows unendingly into the continent, often on the same planes which transport the Nile Perch filets to European consumers, feeding the very conflicts which the aid was sent to remedy. As Dima, the radio engineer of the plane crew, says later on in the film, "The children of Europe receive grapes for Christmas, the children of Angola receive guns". The appalling living and working conditions of the indigenous people, in which basic sanitation is completely absent and many children turn to drugs and prostitution, is covered in great depth; because the Nile Perch fish is farmed commercially, all the prime fillets are sold to European supermarkets, leaving the local people to survive on the festering carcasses of the gutted fish. One of the prostitutes sings the song "Tanzania Tanzania, nakupenda kwa moyo wote"