Title – Virunga (2014)
Director – Orlando von Einsiedel (We Ride: The Story of Snowboarding)
Cast – Andre Bauma, Emmanuel de Merode, Melanie Gouby
Plot – A documentary look at the battle that wages in the Congo over the Virunga National Park, the last home of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population and the dedicated people who will stop at nothing to protect this natural wonder.
“You must justify why you are on this earth – gorillas justify why I am here”
Review by Eddie on 17/06/2015
An immensely moving and thought provoking documentary about a subject that I would understand not many know about, Oscar nominated, Leonardo DiCaprio produced Virunga is a must see film for not only fans of documentary films but the general public and is an incredible examination of the human spirit and those dedicated to making the world a better place.
England based filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel holds back no punches in this Netflix backed looked at the Virunga National Park deep in the wilds of the Congo and the many battles it faces from illegal animal poachers, greedy oil company’s and a country with a long and sad history of violent civil wars. Einsiedel and his team of cameraman over a period of years nestled in deep with the men and women dedicated to the cause of preserving this majestic park range and the many animals it harbors, including the dangerously low in numbers Mountain Gorillas, and the film we the viewer get to witness offers us an up close and personal look at wide variety of situations, many of which were clearly dangerous for those on the ground.
The landscape surrounding the naturally beautiful space of Virunga is fraught with danger and as Einsiedel’s film progresses an appreciation for what troubles plaguing this region become more and more apparent, and the people who operate within these confines become more and more heroic. The humans are the stars here in Einsiedel’s tale, from gorilla orphan caretaker Andre Bauma, Belgium prince Emmanuel de Merode operating as the park ranger leader, young reporter Melanie Gouby and one time soldier turned ranger Rodrigue Katembo, Einsiedel captures not only stunningly magnificent scenery and animal footage, but documents of incredible human beings, the type that in amongst a wealth of evil, corrupt cohabitants, shine a light on the good that can be achieved with a kind and loving heart.
Virunga is a gut punch of movie, whether it be its documents of civil war, the sadness of animal poaching or the stand out examples of the human spirit, there’s a wealth of material here that makes this film one of the year’s best. Fantastically captured by Einsiedel and his team, Virunga is also one of the year’s most visually unique and whilst it may not be easy viewing, Virunga remains compulsory viewing for anyone and everyone that cares for the world we live in today.
5 cans of Pringles out of 5