Darwin: The Desert Castaways

Network: France Ô   Type: Documentaire   Format: 52′  Directing: Anne Verdaguer


Darwin, California, population 33. Upon entering the town, a sign warns: « No services ahead »,  no businesses in sight.

At the end of a road to nowhere, it’s like stepping back into the Far West, under a leaden sun, on the edge of an endless desert: Death Valley. The few hardpan roads in the place are empty. The main street is lined with dilapidated wooden structures, mobile homes and old abandoned cars. Time seems to stand still.

Darwin is an old mining town where once in the heady old days when the mines were prospering early in the 20th century 3,500 souls lived. But its denizens have drifted away, and ,there is nothing left, no businesses, no town hall, no church, no schools. No police either.s. Yet some thirty people still live here, some by choice to escape an overly regimented life, and others an overly hostile society. And some to lie low from the law or to escape a cumbersome past.