The Overview and Reception of the Darwin’s Nightmare

The Overview and Reception of the Darwin’s Nightmare

Darwin’s Nightmare stands as a three-country Documentary movie[Austria, France, and Belguim] directed and produced in 2004 by the hands of Hubert Sauper, dwelling on the social and environmental impacts of the fishing companies in and around Tanzania’s Lake Victoria. A screening of this documentary was held in Venice in 2004 on the occasion of the International Movie Festival, and it got named for an Academy Award at the 78th Academy Honours as Best documentary future. ”Best animal documentary of the year’’ says the Boston Globe.

Hubert Sauper
Hubert Sauper

Darwin’s Nightmare Overview

The Darwin’s Nightmare movie begins with a Soviet-made Ilyushin Il-76 delivery Aircraft landing at Mwanza airport in Mwanza, Tanzania, located beside Lake Victoria. The plane departed from Europe to Tanzania to ship back processed bands of Nile Perch, a breed of fish introduced into the Lake that has provoked the extinction of hundreds of thousands of other native species.

Darwin’s Nightmare discusses the effects of the introduction of the Nile perch to Lake Victoria and how it has dramatically affected the economy of the region and ecosystem through interviews with prostitutes, Ukrainian and Russian plane crews, fishermen, local factory owners, guards, and other villagers.

Darwin’s Nightmare also exerts efforts at length to explain the division between European aid, which is being poured into Africa on the one hand, and the uncontrollable flow of weapons and munitions from arms dealers from Europe on the other. Firearms and ammunition are often imported in on the same planes that transport the Nile Perch cutlets to European markets, thereby fueling the very conflicts it sought to resolve by sending aid.

In the voice of Dima, a radio operator of the flight crew puts it later on in the movie, the kids of Angola are given guns for Christmas while that of the Europeans receive grapes. The gruesome living and working atmosphere of the native people in which basic hygiene and sanitation are absent. Thousands of kids tend to drugs, and prostitution for survival is explained in length. When Nile Perch is processed and arranged for export, all the prime meat is entirely sold in European supermarkets, leaving the locals with nothing to survive on but the carcasses of dead, gutted fishes.

In response to the question of why the local fish it’s not sold in the domestic market, one manager of a fish processing factory says the price of the local fish makes it uneconomical to sell to the domestic market to combat the approaching famine [Local news reports overlaid in the movie indicated that central and northern region of Tanzania was undergoing famine already]

Reception of Darwin’s Nightmare

Critical Response

Darwin’s Nightmare has an acceptance rating of 90% on reviews on the accumulator website Rotten Tomatoes, drawn from 52 studies, and a median rating of 7.56/10. The website’s in-depth consensus states, “This eye-opening presentation brings some of the appalling impacts of globalization to light.” Based on the words of 18 critics, it also received a Metacritic score of 84\100, projecting “universal acclamation.”

Darwin’s Nightmare Awards Earned

YEARS Award Names
2004 Entrevues Film Festival (Entre vues), Audience Award
2004 European Film Award for Best Documentary
2004 Vienna International Film Festival, Vienna Film Award
2005 Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Audience Award
2005 Angers European First Film Festival, European Jury Award
2005 Mexico City International Contemporary Film Festival, Audience Award
2005 Sydney Film Festival, FIPRESCI Prize
2005 Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Special Jury Prize, and Community Cinema Award
2006 César Awards for Best First Feature Movie
2006 Academy Awards Best Documentary Feature nominee

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