‘No war, only fish’

A still from the Oscar-nominated documentary <span style="">Darwin’s Nightmare</span>.

A still from the Oscar-nominated documentary Darwin’s Nightmare.

You know how sometimes you get blindsided by a devastating documentary that shows you how the world really works—namely, not at all like it should—and you go home and hug your kids, probably too hard, and maybe it freaks them out a little bit, and you find yourself muttering, “Christ, I’ve got to do something. What the hell can I do?”

Here’s something. You can go see Hubert Sauper’s Oscar-nominated documentary Darwin’s Nightmare at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street, on Thursday, June 1, at 5:30 or 8 p.m. Then you can meet Joshua Montmeny, a Sacramento-based member of the nonprofit nongovernmental organization Students Partnership Worldwide, and help him raise money for his trip to Tanzania to help the young people there. In Tanzania, more than 3 million people are infected with HIV—more than half of them between the ages of 15 and 24. They need the help.

To call Darwin’s Nightmare a simple portrait of the tough life of AIDS-orphaned Tanzanian street kids is, let us say, to understate the matter. For its attentive look at complex political and ecological systems, the movie is, in fact, deceptively simple, and understatement is its best asset. Without polemicism—without narration, even—Sauper reveals the unequivocal hell that globalization hath wrought on a poor fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria, where nearly everyone suffers, especially the kids.

The movie doesn’t even try to hit you over the head, because it doesn’t have to. It does, however, leave you upended, and ready to act. “I think a lot of people want to do more for other people,” Montmeny says, “but they just need a good outlet.” Here’s one. Visit www.spw-usa.org or www.firstgiving.com/joshuamontmeny for more information.