Virunga: Can a film save the mountain gorilla?

The new documentary Virunga tackles the threat from rebels, poachers and oil exploration in Africa’s oldest national park – but what real effect can it have?

“They must not feel they are abandoned; they must feel they are in the family.” A worker in Africa’s oldest state park talks about the mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who are at risk from a new civil war.

Documentary feature Virunga, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York this month, looks at the efforts to protect the animals against rebels and poachers: last week, the chief warden of the park was ambushed and shot.

The film also highlights the threat from the oil industry, including undercover recordings by French journalist Melanie Gouby of people who she claims work for a British oil company operating in the area. The company has denied the allegations and is seeking legal advice.

Tom Brook interviews Gouby about her investigation, and asks if a documentary can preserve a national park.

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