16 January 2015 | MartinHafer
Mildly interesting but lacking in clarity
"The Galapagos Affair" is a very strange but enjoyable documentary. However, it has a huge strike against it--what exactly happened on the tiny island of Floreana really isn't clear--even all these decades later.
The film begins in the late 1920s. A couple of weird people abandon their spouses and run off to the Galapagos Islands. Their goal is to completely abandon society, to they move to the uninhabited island of Floreana and are, briefly, all alone. Oddly, however, a short time later another family moves to the island. Since Friederich and Dora came to the place to be alone, they aren't exactly thrilled to have new neighbors. Amazingly, a short time later, a wacky baroness arrives with her lovers and she announces she's going to turn the island into a resort for the rich and famous. Now it was easy to dislike Friederich and Dora (they really were selfish and nasty folks), you couldn't help but assume the film will climax with the pair killing off their new neighbors in order to stay all alone. Well, this is NOT what happens. But what does happen really is wide open to conjecture. The baroness and one of her lovers MIGHT have been murdered but there really isn't any concrete evidence that this is the case. Because of this, the mystery isn't necessarily very satisfying and the film, while quirky, isn't exactly satisfying to watch. Strange, yes, however.
This is a technically well made film--featuring a lot of film clips, photos and interviews. But it also is one that leaves you scratching your head. You THINK some murders occurred...but then again, they might not have. So, because of this, your overall enjoyment of the piece is certainly far from certain.