), and put on Virunga dang it! Virunga is one such film. As a documentary, Virunga is interesting, eye-opening and concerning but not necessarily novel nor especially comprehensive. So I recently got Netflix and scrolling through the available features, I noticed the Oscar nominated Virunga, a documentary about Gorillas in Congo. This salient ant-war, anti-business exploration, pro-conservation documentary touched me and made me feel something special. The pictures of the Park are beautiful and the those of the gorillas are captivating. | “Virunga,” out on Netflix Inc’s online streaming platform on Friday and submitted for Oscar contention, draws a line between the interests of oil exploration company SOCO International Plc, civilian unrest in Eastern DRC, and a threatened local nature reserve that houses mountain gorillas. Director Orlando von Einsiedel initially chose to make a documentary about the valiant efforts of park rangers in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo to conserve natural resources. It is the home to a plethora of wonderful animals and vegetation but as is so often the way, it has several serious problems that threaten it. The documentary does a great job of telling the various stories and building up suspense while showing us the beauty of the country. Very educational and really shows the conflicts in the region. the film goes on to state that Patrice Lumumba, Congo's democratically elected Prime Minister at Independence was killed by mining companies. It effortlessly brings us in and causes us to care for the workers of this national park and their deep mission to preserve it at all costs. “There’s a famous phrase in Congo, that it’s the world’s richest country with the poorest people, with foreign forces taking stuff and the result being bad for Congolese people,” von Einsiedel said. A group of brave individuals risk their lives to save the last of the world's mountain gorillas; in the midst of renewed civil war and a scramble for Congo's natural resources. But Belgium’s Prince Emmanuel de Merode, director of Virunga National Park, is adamant that mining for oil will destroy the region’s rich nature and wildlife, and corruption would prevent locals from sharing in the profits. And now, he is a Goldman Environmental Prize winner. It's the location of human violence, corruption and exploitation. With this scene, Virunga is transformed into an adventure and even a combat zone story, even as it also becomes an undercover investigation into … An upsetting and exciting documentary with marked contrasts, What I thought this would be vs an uncomfortable and tense journey through age old human greed story, Beautiful and brave film spoilt by historical inaccuracies, The sadly never ending story of corporate greed and destruction, Difficult to watch but absolutely fascinating. the film states that other countries in Africa were run by European Governments, but that Congo was the only one run by companies. It is a documentary that everyone should see. We watch some films for entertainment. Gorillas justify why I am here. SIA Share News. Ex-Child Soldier Wins Goldman Environmental Prize For Protecting Virunga Park And Its Gorillas : Goats and Soda Rodrigue Katembo has quite a resume: child soldier, park ranger, undercover … I wept during the film out of frustration but also out of an enormous respect for the film makers, rangers and everyone involved. The same is true of exploiting the minerals in the park. "Consider this: Only 880 Mountain Gorillas Remain in the World.". By editor ... A mountain gorilla in Virunga National Park. But that’s exactly what happened as he filmed his first feature-length documentary. Virunga does a good job of showing the grave difficulties facing conservationists in Africa. We watch some films for the emotional effect. The Long Afterlife Of Our Work In Virunga. The film is more than just a film about those magnificent animals. Not to belittle its cause, Virunga needed more time in the editing room to feel less cheap and sloppy. And it also makes it indisputable that what they are doing is right for such a beautiful park. Financial News Articles for Sia.l updated throughout the day. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays. King Leopold convinced the other European Powers to grant him the Congo which he would 'run for the benefit of its people'. War is a terrible thing when in the face of such majesty. By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel did not expect a civil war to break out when he arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012 to profile Virunga National Park's plans for tourism and economic development. No, stop watching that other show (again! I am truly speechless. British filmmaker Orlando von Einsiedel did not expect a civil war to break out when he arrived in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2012 to profile Virunga National Park's plans for … The film also follows French journalist Melanie Gouby, who goes undercover to record SOCO employees speaking of the company's intentions. "You must justify why you are on this earth. Soco International News Headlines. Finally, we watch some films because we should. I started to watch this thinking it's the heroes, park rangers vs the villains, poachers. This is the story of sacrifices some brave people are making to protect our planet for future generations. View Slideshow 3 of 3. London-based SOCO International sent a team to DRC to convince locals that oil exploration would help the economy. On its website, the company says it is no longer operating in DRC and never intended to drill in the protected mountain gorilla habitat. Thriller follows French Foreign Legionnaire who goes undercover for M16. Both M23 and SOCO invade the park in their own ways and neither seems very interested in the laws that have been set up to protect the flora and fauna that exist there, far less the people who live there. “Here is an example of African civil servants who are heroes, which you don’t often see,” von Einsiedel said. Gouby and Katembo’s undercover efforts to capture behind-the-scenes chicanery suddenly give Virunga the immediacy of an All the President’s Men-style investigative procedural, complete with jaw-dropping hidden-camera footage of officials being bribed and contempt for the Congolese masses being expressed by SOCO employees. The son of Protestant farmers in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rodrigue Katembo dreamed of one day becoming a pastor. This is also not true. Starting with an introduction to the history of turmoils in Congo this documentary tells the dramatic story of those who are trying to exploit and suck out everything from the country focusing on the Virunga National Park. The disasters that specifically loom are two different groups, the M23 and SOCO International. “In Virunga National Park, we had that process playing out on a micro level.”. It's about how "we" cope with our resources but even more importantly how other people (e.g. “I saw the story as a metaphor for the rebirth of the entire region,” he said. SOCO released a statement included in the film denying much of what was shown. All of its excitement feels so perfectly timed and formed that it comes off as orchestrated. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Orlando von Einsiedel - 2014 - The vast Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo is internationally renowned for its biodiversity. Poachers, Parks, And Politics: 'Virunga' Is The Most Amazing Story On Netflix By Craig Hatkoff Published On 11/07/2014 stuff usually goes. Created with Sketch. | Along with journalist Melanie Gouby, von Einsiedel's Virunga goes undercover to reveal the negligent motives of British oil company SOCO International. When hostilities broke out between government forces and the M23 rebel group and a British mining company entered the park to drill for oil, Einsiedel broadened the scope of his documentary, transforming it into a feature-like, suspenseful thriller. I loved this documentary. Why would anyone rate this under 10/10??! Metacritic Reviews. Local park warden Rodrigue Mugaruka also goes undercover to expose corruption, and park ranger Andre Bauma takes care of orphaned mountain gorillas. I had postponed watching this documentary several times until I finally took the time to sit down and give it a go. We watch some films for an escape from reality. All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. He made himself unpopular with the American Govt with his approach to the Soviet Union for assistance. “We’re seeing this uptick in the severity of the storms, severity of droughts, severity of the temperature rising, so now it’s become tangible, it’s affecting people’s lives,” he said. The film was shot by a very brave group of people in what is a dangerous area. I had to choose between several movies and I'll never going to regret one second the choice I've made. What amazing lengths the filmmakers went to bring us this story. Their work mainly focused on caring for mountain gorillas, four of which were the only such animals held in captivity in the entire world. ... 'Virunga' Director Orlando von Einsiedel on Why 'Avatar' Was a Huge Inspiration ... about undercover work. Patrice Lumumba made himself unpopular with the Belgian Govt with his speech at the Independence ceremony. This ex-child soldier went undercover to save the gorillas. They do not care about the cost in human lives, human development, or the destruction of other species like the mountain gorillas. This movie is gorgeously shot and wonderfully paced. FAQ To do so they are fearlessly defying the greed driven manipulations of certain western corporates seeking enrichment by trying to control other people's resources. Imperfect documentary - but please let it help save the land and animals! But we sort of persevered, and it took a long time. The former are a violent rebel force who engages in an ongoing civil war with the Congolese government and the latter are a British energy company who specialise in oil exploration. Virunga National Park in the Congo is a place of unique natural beauty. This starts out as a documentary about a group of rangers dedicating themselves to protecting the park and its mountain gorillas, but ends up becoming just as much a story about foreign oil exploration, local corruption, and armed conflict between the government and rebel groups. Editing by Eric Kelsey and David Gregorio. We discover in fact that they have been involved in a bribery campaign, utilising M23 as enforcers. Virunga, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is an especially beautiful and expansive park, with more than 3,000 square miles of beautiful forested land. NPR. But at 14, he was forced i Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. User Ratings It starts off great, really passionate and gripping about the injustices in its titular location. “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo, who actively campaigns against hydraulic fracking and is vocal on water and conservation issues, has also put his weight behind the film. The term "Virunga" did sound familiar, but apart from that, I was oblivious to any plot details of this wonderfully shot, touching and at times surreal account of heroic personages trying to save the last mountain gorillas whilst preserving the environment they inhabit. By Craig Hatkoff . Rodrigue Katembo has quite a resume: child soldier, park ranger, undercover agent, friend of gorillas and elephants, and now Goldman Environmental Prize winner. This is not correct. I lived in DRC for five years, but mainly stuck to Kinshasa. It's a very murky situation where big money walks all over an impoverished nation and disregards a natural space that they can see no value in in their pursuit of financial profit. Its a very cinematic documentary with breathtakingly beautiful scenery of nature and wildlife combined with scenes of brutal violence and sadness. 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