Darwin's Nightmare Image

Universal acclaim - based on 18 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 45 Ratings

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  • Summary: Darwin's Nightmare is a tale about humans between the North and South, about globilization and about fish. (Cellulois Dreams)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 100
    But for all its bleakness, Nightmare is a film that demands to be seen. In unflinching terms, it captures the hellish existence endured by the many so that the few may wallow in privilege.
  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. 90
    Darwin's Nightmare strings together cruel ironies into a work of harrowing lucidity. It illuminates the sinister logic of a new world order that depends on corrupt globalization to put an acceptable face on age-old colonialism.
  4. 80
    What gradually comes into focus is a terrifying, appalling, infuriating cycle of exploitation and corruption.
  5. 80
    Among the most depressing films ever made...It's a stomach-turning tale of globalization at its very worst, though what any of this has to do with Darwin is unclear to me.
  6. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    At times quite powerful.
  7. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    The documentary tries to pin Africa's suffering on capitalism, but dances around the real problem. Africa starves because corrupt governments own the natural resources and export them to buy weapons to keep their people at bay.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 21
  2. Negative: 5 out of 21
  1. LizS.
    Feb 22, 2006
    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. Expand
  2. JoeyA
    Sep 23, 2006
    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
  3. PatM.
    Jul 22, 2007
    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
  4. DevinB.
    Sep 12, 2005
    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
  5. LeeH.
    Aug 8, 2007
    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. Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Aug 1, 2006
    The story is not sequence right. Its all over the place.
  7. SagalA.
    Aug 26, 2005
    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. Expand

See all 21 User Reviews