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UK: ICA Projects
Director: Hubert Sauper
Countries: France / Belgium / Austria
Languages: English / Russian / Swahili (English subtitles)
USA: 105 mins
UK Release Date: 6 May 2005 (Limited Release - London, ICA)
A remarkably broad-ranging and sobering documentary that begins as the story of a fish, before expanding to a literally global level.
In the heart of Africa, some time in the 1960's, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria, as a little scientific experiment. It was the Nile Perch, a voracious predator, which has subsequently wiped out the entire stock of the native fish species, multiplying so fast that its fillets are today exported around the world. The villagers who fish these waters don't see the profits from the resulting international trade and the Nile Perch is exchanged for weapons used in Africa's civil wars.
When the cargo planes fly out with their load, they leave a ravaged population behind. This booming multinational industry of fish and weapons has created an ungodly globalised alliance on the shores of the world's biggest tropical lake: an army of fishermen, World Bank agents, homeless children, African Ministers, EU commissioners, prostitution and Russian plots.
Director Hubert Sauper covers the situation from every angle, interviewing everyone involved — from fishermen to pilots to politicians — to create a clear, concise picture of rampant globalisation's blind capacity for destruction.