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Virunga (2014)Virunga (2014)

Virunga (2014)

Award-winning documentary on three brave individuals fighting deadly forces in contemporary Congo.

Documentary, War

best
THE VERY BEST

9.0

movie

Congo, UK

English, French, Swahili

Instructive, Raw, Thought-provoking

2014

Orlando von Einsiedel

André Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Mélanie Gouby

90 min

Synopsis

Virunga in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s oldest national park, a UNESCO world heritage site, and a contested ground among insurgencies seeking to topple the government that see untold profits in the land. Among this ongoing power struggle, Virunga also happens to be the last natural habitat for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. The only thing standing in the way of the forces closing in around the gorillas: a handful of passionate park rangers and journalists fighting to secure the park’s borders and expose the corruption of its enemies. Filled with shocking footage, and anchored by the surprisingly deep and gentle characters of the gorillas themselves, Virunga is a galvanizing call to action around an ongoing political and environmental crisis in the Congo.

Our Take

9.0
Josh Billings

Orlando von Einsiedel’s epic documentary is at once a stunning natural film, an intimate human drama, and an intense political thriller slash investigative report. The titular Virunga National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site in Eastern Congo, serves as the magnifying glass through which we witness the natural, human, and political crisis of this embattled and volatile region. There are poachers killing endangered gorillas, the bloody business of Big Oil companies, government forces fighting a myriad of militias, and, lastly, the three individuals struggling to protect Virunga and its mountain gorillas from death and destruction. The result is a snap-crackle-pop-type situation, like sitting on a powder keg. The film captures all this superbly with great editing, compelling real-life material, and gripping action. Virunga’s intensity can rival a well-made fictional thriller any day of the week.

Comments

R
roro64

Very good documentary. Would definitely recommend

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