Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Comes to Eden


The Galapagos Affair: Satan Comes to Eden is a 2013 documentary about events on a barely inhabited island in the Galopagos. Seven adults and two children settled there separately in three households in the late '20's and early '30's. 

The first were eccentric doctor Frederich Ritter and his girlfriend, Dora Strauch, who left Germany together. They were married, but not to each other. They wanted to escape civilization and surprisingly didn't die the first week. They managed to build a house and plant vegetables. Ritter was a Nietzschean and wanted to write about philosophy. 

They sent letters back to family in Germany and stories about them were published in the newspapers. 

A German family, a husband, his pregnant wife and 12-year-old son, decided to do the same thing. They arrived on the island to the annoyance of the Ritter and Strauch, who showed them some caves far from their own encampment where they could settle. 

Then came an alleged countess with two gigolos she claimed were an architect and engineer who were going to build a hotel for tourists. Her "engineer" washed her feet in the family's drinking water then sat down in one of their chairs and demanded they serve her tea.

It seems like a miserable life at best. Three households, seven adults. Completely isolated. And they all hate each other. What do you think will happen?

They were visited by a millionaire and his crew on a ship supposedly sailing around doing scientific research. I assume they shot the film and photographs used in the documentary. Actors read from books and letters written by the people involved and there are interviews with their descendants who still live on the islands.

Two disappeared without a trace, one disappeared but was found dead and one died but it's not clear what killed him exactly. And the survivors wrote books implicating each other.

Available for instant viewing on Netflix.

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