Globalization collateral damage

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In his documentary "Darwin's Nightmare", Sauper shows how globalization becomes the ultimate stage of human evolution, and how the law of the strongest, for economic and social system, generates environmental and human disasters.

Tanzania shore of Lake Victoria, late 50 years. It is in this area hitherto maintained that Western decide to introduce the "Nile perch", popular fish to European and Japanese consumers but will prove to be a formidable predator, transforming one of the richest ecosystems the world in a death zone. This predator has indeed eliminated 200 fish species originally present in Lake Victoria, leaving the water free of oxygen and living species. Fish species that fed algae have gradually disappeared, algae accumulate, die and cause falls oxygen levels, while the Nile perch eventually feed its own little lack of other resources ... on-exploited by fishermen in increasing numbers -in 1970, 4.000 15.000 boats brought back tons of fish, in 1980 their number increased to 6.000 and 100.000 fishing has produced tons of fish-, the Nile perch in a few decades, transformed an old lake 500 000 years eutrophiées waters.
In Mwanza, again at Lake Victoria between 500 and 1000 tons of fish arriving every day in factories and then transported to Europe by Russian cargo aircraft. But the planes are not carrying fish that they come to Africa loaded with weapons sold by Europeans to the protagonists of the guerrillas that plague the region -Rwanda, Congo, Burundi ... - Sauper shows the incessant ballet of these aircraft, some of -comble cynisme- bring humanitarian aid to the UN refugee camps at the same time they bring their weapons that will kill them. "Without being totally ignored, countless wars are often described as" tribal conflicts ", like those of Rwanda and Burundi. The hidden causes of such troubles are, in most cases, imperialistic interests in natural resources, "says the author, who made a previous film in 1998 on Rwanda.

"Capitalism has won"

Alongside this disastrous spectacle, the director shows the arrival of a delegation of the European Commission, came to congratulate with local industry, the economic success of Nile perch. 34 million was paid by Europe to develop this sector, whose production is only for Western consumers (2267 2004 tonnes for the French market only). The population survives near Lake only feeds it, that offal unfit for sale. Because the industry did not destroy the ecological wealth of the region, it was also in pieces the local economic and social system, the small local fishermen excluded from the Nile perch industry having no other species to fish. "The eternal question is to ask what social and political structure is the best for the world seems to have found an answer, says the author. Capitalism won. Future companies will be governed by a consumerist system seen as "civilized" and "good". In the Darwinian sense the "good system" won. He won by convincing its enemies or eliminating them ". Unemployment, destroyed families, shattered communities: in this relentless demonstration of biological and social Darwinism, Sauper shows, without misery, the ravages of capitalism on human beings. Prostitution, alcoholism, acute prevalence of AIDS, street children sniff the melted plastic fish packaging ... the destruction of local life is indeed a darwinesque nightmare. "I tried to transform the success story of a fish and the" boom "ephemeral around this" perfect "animal into an ironic, frightening allegory for the new world order says Sauper. But the demonstration would be the same in Sierra Leone and the fish would be diamonds, in Honduras, they would be bananas, and Iraq, Nigeria or Angola, they would be crude oil ".

Darwin's Nightmare (Darwin's Nightmare), film Sauper is released in theaters on March 2 2005. The film received 8 awards at international festivals, including the Europea Price Cinema International Film Festival in Venice 2004.

Véronique SMEE


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