Virunga

This hair-raising, thriller/documentary tells the story of four characters fighting to protect Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, home to the world’s last mountain gorillas, against war, poaching and the threat of oil exploration. The film focuses on the natural beauty and biodiversity of Virunga, as well as the complex political and economic issues surrounding oil exploration and armed conflict in the region. Melanie, my new hero in my pantheon of women who kick ass, points out early in the film that she was determined to get away from, as they say in Montreal, “Metro, Boulot, Dodo—subway, office, bed.” She sure as hell has not missed her mark! With a camera tucked into her bra, Melanie brazenly rejects the monotony of a life trapped by the soul-destroying notion of safety centred on economic security and throws herself “corps and ame” in the heart of a massive struggle wrought with just about every version of nihilism that threatens life on all levels.

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