User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 46 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 46
  2. Negative: 9 out of 46
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  1. TimK.
    Aug 7, 2005
    10
    Remarkable movie! A must see for anyone interesting in Africa, social justice or environmental protection. Some parts of it are quite confronting, but it is an amazingly powerful film.
  2. Mark
    Feb 24, 2006
    9
    Disturbing on many levels. Dare see it and understand the impact our pampered bloated lifestyle has on the less fortunate.
  3. stevel.
    Aug 31, 2005
    10
    I can't imagine how the two viewers who saw this movie and "hated" it for being slanted, left-wing biased and filled with falsehoods, actually know anything about Africa. In fact, Tanzania is not ruled by dictators, but by an administration unfamiliar with and new to democracy, one of which the Western world is none to quick to take advantage of. This movie is devastating and should I can't imagine how the two viewers who saw this movie and "hated" it for being slanted, left-wing biased and filled with falsehoods, actually know anything about Africa. In fact, Tanzania is not ruled by dictators, but by an administration unfamiliar with and new to democracy, one of which the Western world is none to quick to take advantage of. This movie is devastating and should be required viewing for everyone. Expand
  4. T.H.
    Feb 15, 2006
    0
    The worst movie I saw in 2004 without a doubt. Several times I considered leaving the theatre during the screening. That a storyteller has his heart in the right place does not necessarily make a good storyteller. Hubert Saupers view of Africas problems are at best naive, but on top of that this movie rambles on never focusing on any one issue. It completely lacks any focus and the The worst movie I saw in 2004 without a doubt. Several times I considered leaving the theatre during the screening. That a storyteller has his heart in the right place does not necessarily make a good storyteller. Hubert Saupers view of Africas problems are at best naive, but on top of that this movie rambles on never focusing on any one issue. It completely lacks any focus and the editing is amateurish to boot. Expand
  5. LizS.
    Feb 22, 2006
    10
    A great film really spelling out the true meaning of neo-liberalism/globilization: the developed world gets their commodities cheaply and the third world gets perpetual poverty and famine.
  6. DonaldK.
    Aug 17, 2006
    10
    this is known fact put in light not for everbody to see but to be reminded of, its a big shameful fact from the big western nations,there is even bigger similar shameful facts and the world is made of those...i just wish there were a better world elsewhere.. a fairer one.
  7. [Anonymous]
    Aug 1, 2006
    5
    The story is not sequence right. Its all over the place.
  8. JoeyA
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    I saw it on TV last night and at times I was almost sick. It's movies like these that make you think that make you realize cinema and art still matter and communication can still happen in this over-media-blitzed western world. I see these perch fillets in the supermarket, all nicely wrapped and clean and pink. It makes you wonder about the stories behind all the other clinically I saw it on TV last night and at times I was almost sick. It's movies like these that make you think that make you realize cinema and art still matter and communication can still happen in this over-media-blitzed western world. I see these perch fillets in the supermarket, all nicely wrapped and clean and pink. It makes you wonder about the stories behind all the other clinically pretty stuff we buy and consume in our air-conditioned stores. Connect the dots to the maggots in the rotting fish carcasses and the wars in Africa. At the end of the movie there's a big storm coming. It's like a vision of what's coming. Darwin's nightmare isn't over: it's just begun. Expand
  9. LeeH.
    Aug 8, 2007
    7
    it takes a while for this movie to focus- but when it does it's powerful. The villain is not so much global capitalism as it is us humans. How people can take a wondrous natural resource like Lake Victoria and change it to a hell hole. But as a documentary, the powerful parts are drowned out by the tedious, boring, and boring parts.
  10. KirkB.
    Nov 1, 2005
    10
    A harrowing and deeply humane expose of the effects of globalisation on Tanzania. Sauper makes connections between everything, explains how, finally, we as viewers are part of the story, and does so without any voiceover, relying on a compelling series of interviews and the most searing and disturbing images I have encountered as a movie goer. This film is wholly analytical in the best of A harrowing and deeply humane expose of the effects of globalisation on Tanzania. Sauper makes connections between everything, explains how, finally, we as viewers are part of the story, and does so without any voiceover, relying on a compelling series of interviews and the most searing and disturbing images I have encountered as a movie goer. This film is wholly analytical in the best of documentary traditions, and at the same time completely captivating. Everyone should see this movie. Expand
  11. RadI.
    Aug 23, 2005
    1
    Typically twisted left wing propanganda. Blame America first. These people ae ruled by savage dictators. Could that have something to do with it? Duh!!!
  12. SagalA.
    Aug 26, 2005
    0
    Twisted, exploitative, voyeuristic - and most of all, feeble. No analysis whatsoever - about the ecology or the economy. So what if the small-town Russian pilots were bringing in weapons? What's your point? Why film a dying woman say "I can't eat anymore?" More dangerous a thousand-fold than the phantom weapons being smuggled into Africa are films like this one. You make me Twisted, exploitative, voyeuristic - and most of all, feeble. No analysis whatsoever - about the ecology or the economy. So what if the small-town Russian pilots were bringing in weapons? What's your point? Why film a dying woman say "I can't eat anymore?" More dangerous a thousand-fold than the phantom weapons being smuggled into Africa are films like this one. You make me sick, Mr. Sauper. Collapse
  13. DevinB.
    Sep 12, 2005
    9
    The comments of Sagal and Rad are typical, and illustrate an intresting point about the ideology of some Americans. This film is factual, non-partisan, and documentary. However, since it displays a harsh reality with a rational eye, some will label it left-wing. The world is not always a pretty place, and globalization and capitalism have wraught some pretty horrific consequences on parts The comments of Sagal and Rad are typical, and illustrate an intresting point about the ideology of some Americans. This film is factual, non-partisan, and documentary. However, since it displays a harsh reality with a rational eye, some will label it left-wing. The world is not always a pretty place, and globalization and capitalism have wraught some pretty horrific consequences on parts of the undeveloped world. To acknowedge these facts is neither left-wing nor right-wing, but to dismiss as partisan an important statement of culture and science is ignorant and racist. Of course, however, any film that's not completely apologetic to the United States at all times, any analysis that doesn't cater to the White House party line of the moment, any documentary that forces us to face difficult world problems rather than blaming the victims....must be left wing, according to some people. But the truth is not partisan. Expand
  14. Jason
    Feb 28, 2006
    8
    The insights to negative aspects of globalization, unbalanced income distribution, and its social consequences are there, but the filmmaker never really ties the movie in with the relevance of the title of the documentary.
  15. OscarO.
    Jun 14, 2006
    9
    A vision of Africa that surpasses even the nightmare scenarios of Conrad of Greene. Despite the puzzling title (I thought it was going to be a nature program) I watched it with both fascination and horror. [***SPOILERS***] The Russians bring in their cargos of lethal weapons to replenish the warlords, then leave with boxes of fish from Lake Victoria to supply the European markets. A few A vision of Africa that surpasses even the nightmare scenarios of Conrad of Greene. Despite the puzzling title (I thought it was going to be a nature program) I watched it with both fascination and horror. [***SPOILERS***] The Russians bring in their cargos of lethal weapons to replenish the warlords, then leave with boxes of fish from Lake Victoria to supply the European markets. A few of the locals have jobs in the fish factory while the vast majority live in abject poverty, scraping an existence from the by-products of the industry. Men, women and children, many of them shoeless, wade through the maggot-infested fish remains, drying and boiling them in a hellish landscape reminiscent of Hieronymous Bosch. Orphaned children burn discarded fish boxes to extract the glue from them which they then sniff in order to anaesthetise themselves to hunger, boredom and despair. The rich nations of the West should hang their heads in shame. Expand
  16. DarrenB.
    Aug 12, 2006
    2
    Visit the country talk to the people......get the facts straight.
  17. MikeM.
    Aug 25, 2006
    0
  18. GianN.
    Jan 11, 2007
    10
    This film captures intuitively the complexity of real life and misery of contemporary Africa and its relation with the globalized world. It can only be wished that this film is better used in the near future by professionals of development and international cooperation to solve some of the causes of misery: trade of weapons, lack of institutional building (both in civil society andThis film captures intuitively the complexity of real life and misery of contemporary Africa and its relation with the globalized world. It can only be wished that this film is better used in the near future by professionals of development and international cooperation to solve some of the causes of misery: trade of weapons, lack of institutional building (both in civil society and government) and laisser-faire in economics. This films merits to be taken serious not only by people, but also by organizations. Expand
  19. Nikko
    Aug 2, 2007
    9
    so Kyle Smith from The New York Post does not think capitalism is the 'real' problem or greed probably for that matter, but then says in the same tiny paragraph that the 'real' problem is the west buying the stuff they are selling etc - pray tell Kyle, what would you call that? The buying of signifiers of wealth etc from the poor by the rich using available monetary so Kyle Smith from The New York Post does not think capitalism is the 'real' problem or greed probably for that matter, but then says in the same tiny paragraph that the 'real' problem is the west buying the stuff they are selling etc - pray tell Kyle, what would you call that? The buying of signifiers of wealth etc from the poor by the rich using available monetary services etc etc - well, shit on me Kyle, I call that capitalism. You moron. No surprises you are a new york critic then? Nope. Ignorance is bliss. Expand
  20. InaT
    Jul 15, 2007
    5
    The topic is certainly worth noticing, but instead of clearly spotlighting the issues, the document remains a hard to follow, badly edited and protracted collection of interviews, seeming more confusing than unbiased.
  21. PatM.
    Jul 22, 2007
    10
    I've watched a lot of documentaries - and this is one of the best I've seen. The unobtrusiveness of the interviewer adds to the hoesty and impact of the film. I did not know anything about what had happened to Lake Victoria - so when I first started watching it I was kind of confused - as I watched I started to realize what was happening there - and I felt so sad and angry, so I I've watched a lot of documentaries - and this is one of the best I've seen. The unobtrusiveness of the interviewer adds to the hoesty and impact of the film. I did not know anything about what had happened to Lake Victoria - so when I first started watching it I was kind of confused - as I watched I started to realize what was happening there - and I felt so sad and angry, so I can only imagine how sad and angry the people there must feel. I Expand
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. As confusing, horrific and unsettling as a nightmare can be, at least you wake up and the memory fades. Darwin's Nightmare, tragically, is not a dream, but rather a haunting, beautifully made reality check well worth waking up to.
  2. Mr. Sauper has produced an extraordinary work of visual journalism, a richly illustrated report on a distant catastrophe that is also one of the central stories of our time.
  3. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    80
    Somewhat haphazardly organized yet fascinatingly detailed and enriched by the candor and dignity of its shockingly deprived interview subjects.