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This documentary has either been strangely marketed, or I just got it wrong. I had the notion of the Victoria Lake becoming victim of a predator fish in my mind, an imported fish who caused the whole eco-system to collapse, destroy the balance not just of the fish living in the (enormous) lake, but of the whole system in and around the lake, including the people who depend on the lake and its produce. That is all true, and it is part of the film. It is, however merely one part of a story that, at the end of the day, is about the industrialised world taking Africa as slave. This time they don’t even bother to bring them over, but the continent and its people get abused where it is, and only the benefits, namely the money and the grapes, and the Victoria lake fish, ever arrives at European airports on huge Russian transport aircrafts. What’s left behind is a system of poverty, starvation, war, sniffing glue to get through the night, wading up to the ankles in rotten, maggot-laden fish blinding the workers who need to retrieve something edible from the leftovers of the unaffordable precious goods that have long left by air with its ammoniac gases of decay.

The Russian pilots keep trying to ignore what they are doing, the locals keep trying to take whichever role allows them to get their piece of the survival cake, as guard with poisoned arrows, manager of the arms-in-fish-out-deals, whores serving as many of the pilotes as their short lives allow them before they end with a knife in their chest or dying from AIDS. It’s a depressing view of the world that the film presents, but it looks as if it is one that we only too regularly neglect. It is not a rare and exceptional story that is being told, but it is the story that is happening every day. The fact that the filming is done very professionally and in often beautiful and stunning pictures makes it only worse. 


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