I'm urging all safaritalkers to please watch this film because it's a real eye opener. it doesn't matter what you've read or heard about Virunga National Park you have to see it. It's unlike any documentary I've ever seen before because it's so full of suspense. Let it be said that other than Rod Cassidy whom I was fortunate enough to meet here in Nairobi,there's nobody other than Emmanuel de Merode whom I'd like to meet more. He's a true hero to the cause of conservation,as of course are the over 140 rangers who have lost their lives fighting poachers.
As this film makes clear not all the villains are black and not all the good guys are white. True,the poachers and M.N.R guerrillas are a major threat to Virunga National Park's wildlife,but the British oil Soco International arguably the worst threat of all. The British and French thugs who are responsible for security are truly despicable characters. They refer to the gorillas as big monkeys, They have no respect for the Congolese people who they see as subhuman,and lacking in all human sentiment. The oil company thinks that they can bribe everyone,and drill oil within the National Park despite the fact that it's a Unesco World heritage Site.
One marvels at the courage and dedication not only of Emmanuel de Merode,but also the Congolese game rangers. When the M.N.R . rebels approach armed with tanks,rocket launchers, and artillery; the rangers armed only with their automatic weapons are prepared to fight them to the end. It's incredibly exciting.
I have to say that I marveled at the love that the caretakers have for the gorillas. Andre Bauma is particularly impressive.They regard the gorillas as family. One has to think who is human the Congolese game wardens or Soco's cowardly thugs?
The French investigative journalist Melanie Gouby is also heroic. She goes undercover and risks her life repeatedly not just to get a story;she is truly interested in saving Virunga National Park.
This exceptionally fine film is only available on Netflix. Everyone should watch it even if they don't share our interest in wildlife;it's a shocking thriller.