Darwin meets Hitchcock in this feature-length documentary. THE GALAPAGOS AFFAIR is a gripping tale of idealistic dreams gone awry, set in the brutal yet alluring landscape of the Galapagos Islands. Featuring voice-over performances by Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Connie Nielsen, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Gustaf Skarsgard and Josh Radnor, this film skillfully interweaves an unsolved 1930s murder mystery with stories of present day Galapagos pioneers (a handful of Europeans, Americans and Ecuadoreans who settled idiosyncratically on the Islands between the 1930s and 1960s). As such, it is a parable about the search for paradise -- about what happens when a handful of individualists settle on the same small island seeking their own distinct and sometimes clashing notions of Eden. Written by
I rather enjoy delving into the lesser known narratives of history. The film is a tour de force in historical research of an obscure, albeit real mystery that was a sensational item at one time (1930s.) European settlers filter onto a very remote island with different agendas, from idealistic to craven, apparently. Built from painfully researched documents and even film, and with interviews from a very special group of humans - those who have lived or were born on the Galapagos Islands, a sketchy legend comes to life into a fascinating narrative of society gone wrong. Ultimately a dark tale of the inability of humanity to go beyond a violent nature (as one aged interviewee says "it's in our genes and there is no escape") even when a few very small parties restart from scratch, isolated from virtually every other human presence on the planet, and clash.
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