Darwin's Nightmare Film Review

The haunting film, Darwin's Nightmare, by Hubert Sauper reveals the horrifying reality of how globalization and a scientific experiment gone wrong can lead to massive exploitation. About 40-50 years ago, the Nile Perch was introduced into Lake Victoria in Tanzania as a simple scientific study. This predatory fish quickly collapsed almost the entire stock of native fish species leaving the local fishermen with only one fish to work with.

This Perch soon became a multi-billion dollar industry. The majority of planes fly in daily from Europe to pick up the latest catch in exchange for weapons and ammunition to fuel some of Africa's deadliest wars in the Congo and Angola. Since the Nile Perch is far too expensive for locals to buy, their only choice is to end up with the wasted and spoiled remains. While Europeans and other developed nations are profiting off Tanzania's Perch and fueling Africa's blood wars, local Tanzanians are dying from starvation, diseases, or otherwise falling into prostitution and drugs. The film exposes the life of these prostitutes, Russian pilots, world bank agents, orphaned children and local fisherman. 

The fish may have been supporting thousands of fishermen and the elite Europeans not too long ago but today the reality is not so promising. The fish is now on the brink of extinction from overfishing, posing a serious threat to Lake Victoria as well as the devastating famine that has already plagued Tanzania in the past.

 Although Darwin's Nightmare is definitely an eye-opening documentary, it is not one of my favorites. There is a definite lack of focus and lack of solutions for an appalling outcome of developed nations and world organizations exploiting local people over an environmental crisis.

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México Pelágico- A Documentary That Will Inspire You to Protect Our Ocean’s Treasures!

Image from the Pelagic Life Initiative

Image from the Pelagic Life Initiative

This short film, México Pelágico directed by Jerónimo Prieto founder of Pelagic Life, will inspire you to seek out our ocean’s treasures and to protect and conserve its natural ecosystems. Pelagic Life is a non-profit of photographers and videographers working to capture high quality images of our ocean’s secrets.   México Pelágico portrays Mexico’s open ocean through the eyes of young and enthusiastic conservationists. The purpose of this film is to show the many threats our oceans face today due to our choices and much of our dependence on its resources.

As the team travels throughout some of Mexico’s most pristine and bio diverse dive spots such as Xcalak, Playa del Carmen, Baja, Cancún, and Guadalupe Island, their main goal is to illustrate the fragility of our ocean’s health. The crew steps into the lives of many communities in Mexico that depend on our ocean’s endangered species such as sharks and tuna to make a living for their families. This unfortunate dependence on shark finning, over fishing, etc. has resulted in the overexploitation of many species in Mexico. Throughout the documentary, we see the same fishermen in these Mexican communities, who once hunted for sharks, begin working to protect these majestic animals. This gives us hope that only with simple awareness and information, many of those educational gaps can begin to close.

The film successfully illuminates the unique experiences that occur in Mexico such as Great White Shark sightings, Whale Shark migrations, and world class diving with Giant Mantas and Bull sharks. These exceptional occurrences will inspire you to engage in the underwater African Serengeti and to respect and conserve it through awareness and responsible ecotourism.