2014 · TV-MA · 1h 40m
In the forested depths of eastern Congo lies Virunga National Park, one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth and home to the planet’s last remaining mountain gorillas.
In this wild, but enchanted, environment, a small and embattled team of park rangers – including an ex-child soldier turned ranger, a caretaker of orphan gorillas and a dedicated conservationist – protect this UNESCO world heritage site from armed militia, poachers and the dark forces struggling to control Congo’s rich natural resources. When the newly formed M23 rebel group declares war, a new conflict threatens the lives and stability of everyone and everything they’ve worked so hard to protect, with the filmmakers and the film’s participants caught in the crossfire.
A powerful combination of investigative journalism and nature documentary, Virunga is the incredible true story of a group of courageous people risking their lives to build a better future in a part of Africa the world’s forgotten, and a gripping exposé of the realities of life in the Congo.
About the Filmmakers
This film was produced by A Grain Media and directed by Orlando Von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara. Find out more about the film at virungamovie.com.
“Virunga National Park has become the battleground in a new conflict, as conservationists fight off the advances of rebel militias, poachers, and a powerful oil company.” – Martin Fletcher. “Battle for Virunga: The fight to save Africa’s oldest national park.” The Telegraph. 6 Sept 2014
“This is muckraking journalism that moves confidently with the brio of an action thriller.” – Kenji Fujishima. “Virunga.” Slant Magazine. 3 Nov 2014
“A perspective on the ongoing conflict in the Congo we haven’t yet seen: Orlando von Einsiedel’s powerful Virunga depicts a band of national-park rangers as possibly the last line of defense against another foreign rape of the country’s natural resources.” – John Defore. “Virunga. Tribeca Review.” Hollywood Reporter. 24 Apr 2014
“A new documentary titled “Virunga” exposes the behind-the-scenes skulduggery that occurs when the worlds of conservation and oil collide. Two days before the film’s New York premiere in April, De Mérode, who has vigorously protected the park and its animals and opposes drilling, was ambushed and shot four times. Incredibly, he survived and lives on to fight the battle.” – Amanda Jones. “Mountain gorillas could be at risk in Virunga National Park, Congo.” LA Times. 30 May 2014
“With enough action, pathos, suspense, venal villains, stalwart heroes and endangered gorillas for a dozen fiction films, Orlando von Einsiedel’s extraordinary documentary ‘Virunga‘ lays out the complex of deadly forces threatening the titular national park, an UNESCO-designated World Heritage site in eastern Congo.” – Ronnie Scheib. “Film Review: ‘Virunga.'” Variety. 1 Jun 2014
Virunga is available to stream on Netflix.