Cuba: The Accidental Eden, Now on DVD
The economic embargo against Cuba may have devastated its economy, but it was a Godsend to Cuba’s natural environments and wildlife. The lack of tourism has protected beaches, wetlands, and virgin forests, as well as their inhabitants.
Turtles that travel from Florida to Cuba to lay their eggs, bee hummingbirds, the smallest frog in the northern hemisphere, and endangered painted snails are but a few of the animals featured in Cuba: The Accidental Eden, the first film of Nature’s 29th season, available on DVD and Blu-ray November 9.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba opened its beaches to Europeans, and the effects of this tourism have already been felt on the environment of this “crown jewel of the Caribbean.” Ecologically rich, Cuba offers a vibrant landscape and wide biodiversity. Its coral reefs are healthy, unlike the rest of the reefs in the Caribbean and throughout the world.
Cuba: The Accidental Eden follows American marine biologist David Guggenheim as he visits coral reefs and discovers one of the rarest corals in the world. He theorizes that Cuba’s forced entry into organic farming may account for the health of the reefs--without runoff from fertilizers polluting the surrounding waters, the corals may be benefiting.
Cuban biologists--making less than $25 a month--are dedicated to studying many of the species there, some of which have become endangered. Also explored in Cuba: The Accidental Eden is the relationship between Cubans and the land. Farmers use methods that are centuries old, but threaten natural habitats with expanding tobacco farms.
Breathtaking cinematography and an introduction to exotic animals distinguish Cuba: The Accidental Eden as a DVD well worth seeing. Viewers cannot help but feel disappointed by tourism’s encroachment; however 22% of Cuba is protected environment. Can development and conservation exist together? Optimistically, we hope Cuba does not fall into the money traps in which so many other countries have become ensnared.
Bottom Line: Would I buy/rent/stream Cuba: The Accidental Eden? Of course I would--it has flamingos!