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Virunga (2014) — Democratic Republic of CongoVirunga (2014) — Democratic Republic of Congo

By Dan Clendenin

            The Virunga National Park in Congo is one of the most beautiful and environmentally rich places on earth, but it struggles for survival in one of the world's most violent countries. This Netflix Documentary tells the story of the brave park rangers who have given their lives to save Virunga, and in particular its population of mountain gorillas. They face formidable odds. First, there are the poachers. Next, since the 1994 genocide in next-door Rwanda, Congo has been the site of the deadliest conflict since World War II, with over five million deaths. Over a dozen different rebel militias seek control of the government, land, and the mineral wealth. Then, there's the newly discovered oil underneath Lake Edward, concessions to which have been given to the rapacious British oil company SOCO. This film has won at least 23 international awards. I watched it on Netflix Streaming. In French and English, with subtitles. For more on Congo, see the excellent book Dancing in the Glory of Monsters.

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