In Toronto, Netflix premiered the trailer for new original documentary “Virunga.” In his feature film debut, Orlando von Einseidel highlights the military and commercial battle for Virunga National Park, home to the last of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Shot in a remote area of the eastern Congo, the story is told primarily through the voices of three key figures—an ex-child soldier turned park ranger, one of the park’s gorilla caretakers, and a Belgian conservationist—all fighting for conservation in personal and broader terms. When a mounting rebel conflict escalates to war in May 2012, the already struggling inhabitants of Virunga face new threats to their survival. From its initial, emotional plea for a protected Virunga, the documentary evolves into a much larger investigation into big business’s infiltration into resource rich areas of the Congo and both the human and animal communities that are affected.
The documentary has already screened internationally at film festivals, creating a stir and capturing high praise from both international and North American critics.
November 7 marks the documentary’s American theatrical and streaming debut, via Netflix. Tribeca review here.