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March 6, 2006

Free screening of Oscar-nominated Darwin's Nightmare March 8 at the Del Mar Theater

By Jennifer McNulty

Filmmaker Hubert Sauper, whose film Darwin's Nightmare was nominated for this year's Academy Award in the best documentary category, will attend a free public screening of his movie at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8. The film will be shown at the Del Mar Theater, located at 1124 Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.

Photo: Hubert SauperDirector Hubert Sauper will answer questions following the screening of his documentary.
Photo copyright coop99

Sauper's exposé of the environmental and social catastrophe unfolding in the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania has been denounced by the Tanzanian government, said film scholar B. Ruby Rich, assistant professor of community studies at UCSC, who organized the screening.

"Hubert Sauper has made a brilliant exposé of Tanzania," said Rich, who recently profiled Sauper for LA Weekly. "I am thrilled that he has accepted our invitation."

The Del Mar Theater will screen Darwin's Nightmare in its 500-seat main theater. Sauper will field questions after the screening. On March 9, Sauper will participate in a campus colloquium with interested faculty and graduate students.

Darwin's Nightmare was described by the New York Times as "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." The film documents the devastating impacts of globalization on an African community, where the introduction of the Nile perch has wiped out virtually all other fish in Lake Victoria. Tons of fish are exported to Europe and Japan as the local population suffers on the brink of starvation.

Sauper captures the gritty realities of AIDS, prostitution, and desperate children, and he documents the international trafficking of arms aboard the same cargo planes that carry the fish to foreign markets.

"This isn't a typical documentary--it's a breakthrough approach with all the beauty and excitement of a thriller," said Rich. "It shows us the human impact of globalization with all the suspense of a whodunit."

The screening is being cosponsored by the Community Studies Department, the Del Mar Theater, and the Division of Social Sciences, with support from numerous academic departments.

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