Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Darwin's Nightmare

The following movie review from my good buddy Coffeefortwo's blog is for the documentary "Darwin's Nightmare." I haven't seen it, but have been told would be of interest to me because of the global poverty issue. Coffeefortwo's review writing was compelling enough for me to put this pretty high up on the netflix queue, so I thought you might enjoy reading it...
Darwin's Nightmare (Hubert Sauper, 2004). Sauper's documentary gives a gut-level view of the often dismal lives of citizens of Tanzania. Much of what's depicted is truly devastating and therefore absolutely vital anyone trying to understand that enormous divide between cultures as our society becomes more and more global. Of course, that means it's even more important to be seen by those who willfully turn a blind eye to international hardship. A major part of the film's thesis involves the aggressive fishing of Lake Victoria, with literally tons of Nile perch being shipped off to fill cultured European plates while local residents of Tanzania starve in the streets. The indifference of those helping to orchestrate this is not callous, but is instead all the more reprehensible because it is simply casual, just another day of business. As journalism the film is sound and moving. As filmmaking, it is somewhat wanting. Sauper never quite gives form to his film. A cohesive through-line is ultimately too elusive as he devotedly makes room for all of the found pain on screen. It's a flaw, but one grounded in the right intentions.

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