Virunga: A must see documentary on Virunga National Park, the bravery of its protectors, its mountain gorillas and the forces of evil ranged against them

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Hugh Paxton’s Blog likes wildlife documentaries but many tend to be a bit…samey. Virunga isn’t. At all. In fact I’m not sure whether I’d classify it a wildlife documentary at all. There are the mountain gorillas of Virunga National Park and they play a pivotal role but the film is also firmly focused on the men who protect them and those whose actions would destroy them. It is an extraordinarily beautiful film; the volcanic scenery, the plains, swamps and forests are captured by the camera to perfection. It is also a tragic film. And I use the word ‘film’ because that’s what it feels like a film, a movie. We see war come to the ranger station in the former of Congolese army tanks and rebels, dying refugees and thunderous explosions. The rangers on patrol carry RPG rocket launchers and assault rifles. The parks director, a Belgian prince, was shot five times in the chest and abdomen almost immediately after filming concluded (but happily survived and one month later was back on the job). A lot has been written about Virunga which was released last year, lasts an engrossing 100 minutes, was directed by Orlando von Einseidel, and was nominated for an Oscar. The film also helped thwart a ruthless British multinational oil company. I won’t re-invent the wheel. Google ‘Virunga the movie’ and read the stuff for yourself. Wikipedia offers the neatest summary.

Oh, then watch it. You’ll never forget it!

Cheers from Bangkok!

Hugh

PS A few scenes might distress small children.

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One Response to “Virunga: A must see documentary on Virunga National Park, the bravery of its protectors, its mountain gorillas and the forces of evil ranged against them”

  1. charlespaxton Says:

    Reblogged this on Charles's Weblog and commented:

    This film’s on my ‘to see’list now!

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