Located in the lush forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Virunga National Park is home to the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas and to courageous men and women who are dedicated to protecting them against a multitude of dangers—poachers, armed militia, and a British oil company determined to exploit the park’s resources. Filmmaker Orlando Von Einsiedel contrasts the nobility of a multinational group of park rangers with the corruption (revealed through hidden camera footage) of oil company executives. Brutal armed conflicts often intrude into this protected space, exacerbating the threat to the gorillas. The achingly beautiful nature photography and the touching bonds the rangers form with the animals in their care only add more emotional force as we recognize the near hopelessness of their efforts. Virunga has been credited with forcing Soco International to back away from its plans to drill for oil and natural gas in this World Heritage Site, though the conflict is far from resolved. Virunga, one of the most powerful documentaries about environmental politics in recent memory, is being recognized with a Peabody Award.
PRIMARY PRODUCTION CREDITS
Executive Producers: Maxyne Franklin, Lisa Nishamura, Jess Search, Adam Del Deo, Leonardo Di Caprio, Jon Drever, Howard G. Buffett, CEO Howard G. Buffett Foundation. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Orlando Von Einsiedel. Director: Orlando von Einsiedel. Writer: Orlando von Einsiedel.