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Darwin is a documentary film about an isolated community at the end of a weathered road in Death Valley, California. Propelled from society by tragic turns, the people of Darwin (population 35) must now find ways to coexist in a place without a government, a church, jobs, or children. The near-ghost town's survival depends on a fragile, gravity-fed waterline that descends from the mountains where top-secret weapons are being tested. One 'accidental' drop of a bomb, they half-joke, could wipe out their entire town.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A dull place doesn't automatically become worthy of scrutiny when a camera lens is aimed at it."
‑ , Toronto Star
"A droll and dusty portrait of a place where privacy is prized and boundaries respected."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"As Darwin shows again and again, not talking can be its own form of storytelling."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"The documentary ultimately doesn't so much flesh out its subjects as slowly tear their Band-Aids off after some administering some putatively good-natured noogies."
‑ Joseph Jon Lanthier, Slant Magazine
"Depending on how you look at it, Darwin is either an affirmative record of proud outliers getting by on true grit or a grim snapshot of a community on its last, buckling legs."
‑ Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail
"Refusing to patronise the participants of his film, Brandestini's use of a chilling score, beautiful photography and a keen sense of balance makes Darwin a fascinating and charming film."
‑ , Film4
"Illuminating...To its credit, the documentary never leads viewers to laugh at the (eccentric) subjects' expense."
‑ Fr. Chris Carpenter, Movie Dearest
""Darwin" is a beautiful, elegiac work with unexpected impact and meaning."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"this alien landscape, shot wide by the Swiss filmmaker with an outsider's eye for the dustily hyperreal, is teeming with strange life and even stranger stories."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"Atmospheric documentary set in Death Valley is surprisingly captivating."
‑ Eric Monder, Film Journal International
More reviews for Darwin on Rotten Tomatoes