Virunga discussion


Benjamin Beliveau, Sergio Dominguez, Julia Jankowski, Molly Steinberg

  • Virunga takes place in eastern Congo, where it is a civil war heavy area. Wars between the Congolese army and M23 rebels was very influenced by a British oil drilling company SOCO, which is taking place in national park causing a lot of conflict near the national park and potentially harming the gorillas.
  • The film Virunga was produced by Orlando von Einsiedel and Executive  Producer Leonardo Dicaprio
  • SOCO is fueling conflict through suspicious ties with the M23 rebellion.
  • We thought it was interesting that SOCO only saw the monetary value of the park unlike the park rangers and local residents who saw the benefits of the life that the park provided for them; their home.
  • It seemed as if SOCO took advantage of their resources like the secret army and their dealings with the government which was unfair to the park and its inhabitants since they did not have the knowledge or capabilities to not be overpowered by them.
  • SOCO reaction to the film made it seem that there were unethical actions taken place behind closed curtains even though SOCO has stated that there has been no bribing or partnership with M23.
  • The country just wants to survive and make money; many have no intentions of furthering the development of their country.
  • This also goes for the rebel groups and local militias that ignore the focus on territory and focus more on who is paying and who they have to fight.
  • What was also interesting about the film is that some of the locals, who are against the presence of SOCO and make their living from the lake, were either bribed or threaten to approve SOCO coming in to drill for oil.


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