***/**** Image C+ Sound C+
directed by Hubert Sauper
by Walter Chaw Told almost completely in extended wordless sequences, Darwin's Nightmare covers how the introduction of feral perch to Tanzania's Lake Victoria to sate a ravenous European market has spelled doom for locals enlisted ("enslaved," director Hubert Sauper would insist) to harvest it at subsistence levels, forcing them to scavenge among the discards for sustenance. Even worse, Sauper suggests that arms traffickers use the incoming cargo planes--the very ones entrusted with the export of the perch--to smuggle their own illicit wares and thus further exploit stricken Africa. We learn that the perch were introduced into the lake as a means of supplementing an over-fished native supply to ironically-fantastic results--a perch boom that on-message factory owners and government officials proclaim as an economic miracle.