In 1929 Friedrich Ritter, a staunch devotee of Nietzsche, and his lover Dora Strauch decide to begin a new life far away from the constraints of social convention. They head for Galapagos, a then little known group of islands off the coast of Ecuador, where they meet other German émigrés. Each has their own reasons for coming to the island of Floreana. The immigrants include the petit bourgeois Wittmer family who want to live their lives in close communion with nature, and an eccentric woman who describes herself as a baroness and dreams of opening a hotel for well-heeled tourists. One day, she and her lover disappear. At this point the documentary turns into a whodunnit; using rediscovered archive footage and interviews, the film tries to find out if the couple were murdered and if so, by whom. The Galapagos Affair adopts a fascinating format in which to tell the true story of a group of idealists who emigrated in order to turn their visions into reality. Like many who have grown weary of civilisation, they too come to realise that paradise must remain a utopian dream, if only so that we may continue to search for it.
by Dayna Goldfine, Dan Geller
with Stimmen / Voices: Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Thomas Kretschmann, Sebastian Koch, Josh Radnor