Monday, May 25, 2015

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Virunga" (2014)

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Director: Orlando von Einsiedel
Year: 2014
Rating: NR
Running Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

In the war-torn country of the Congo, workers at the Virunga National Park risk their lives to protect the last remaining mountain gorillas. Meanwhile, warring armies battle over control of the mineral rights as a multi-national corporation known as SOCO attempts to gain access to drill for oil in the nature reserve. 

If you watch one Oscar nominated documentary from 2014, make sure it's "Virunga." What a moving and deeply tragic story. Virunga National Park is home to the last remaining mountain gorillas in the wild. Serious damage to Virunga would mean the extinction of this primate species. The Congo is embroiled in a civil war as those vying for power all want a piece of the money that the natural resources of the country would bring. Filmmakers introduce us to the park workers, as well as the gorillas who were ill or injured and have been brought to the rehabilitation facility at the reserve for care and comfort. It's not only warring factions that the park rangers must protect the gorillas from, it is also poachers, who sell parts of the gorillas on the black market. There are also many dangerous moments of the film that have nothing to do with combat. There are several undercover investigations that took place in order to make this film, and several SOCO executives and workers were caught on hidden camera spewing out vile, racist, hatred and vomiting out willy nilly their evil plans to funnel money to rebels to create civil unrest in an attempt to unseed the current government who would not allow them to access the rich minerals and resources of Virunga for their own.

A film like this can bring you to tears on more than one occasion, and even thinking back on it while writing this review is difficult. There are some tragic and very disturbing images which will sear into your mind forever, but there are also some uplifting ones, too. When a ranger is willing to stand guard and lay down his own life if necessary to protect these gorillas that are more like friends to him than animals, it is unbelievably moving. This is not a documentary about something that has happened in the past. This is going on right now, continuously, we type this review. People at the Virunga National Park are still risking their lives and fighting to protect the mountain gorillas at any and all costs in heart-wrenching fashions. This is an important cause that needs to be broadcast all over the world repeatedly so another species of animal does not go extinct due to warring humans and their deadly footprint all in the name of gaining monetary compensation for natural resources and oil. Please see this documentary.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 100%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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