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We have seen some incredible work for the planet come from Leonardo DiCaprio recently. Between donating millions to protect the oceans and endangered elephants, to speaking up about climate change at the UN, DiCaprio has made it clear that he will not sit idly by and watch the world’s natural places and species be destroyed. In his newest move to educate the public about the ills of the planet, DiCaprio has announced that he will be releasing a film, in collaboration with Netflix, on the subject of Virunga National Park.

Congo’s Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest national park and one of the last places in the world where you can still find Mountain Gorillas. These creatures are critically endangered and can only survive extinction with the help and diligent protection of humans. Although one would suspect that these gorillas are safe within the confines of a national park, as Leonardo DiCaprio illustrates in the new film, “Virunga,” this is not the case.

Virunga has been the target of oil companies who wish the enter the protected borders and explore for oil. With oil, comes corruption, social unrest – and above all, poaching. Poaching has been a longstanding threat to the park and the film follows park rangers as they try and protect the mountain gorilla from militia and poachers. The film is half nature documentary, half a work of investigative journalism, combined to paint a full picture of what is happening in this historic park.

DiCaprio states, “Films like Virunga are powerful stories that are a window into the incredible cultural and natural diversity of our world, the forces that are threatening to destroy it, and the people who are fighting to protect it.”

By releasing the film on Netflix, it is sure to reach an audience that is exponentially larger than if it were only to be released in theaters. Netflix chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, explains, “Leo intuitively understands that there is nothing like the power of film to reach people’s hearts and minds.”

The message this film bears may be specific to the Virunga region, but it is one that needs to be heard and applied worldwide. We are in the midst of a global crisis where over 52 percent of wildlife have disappeared in the past 40 years. It is clear that we could all stand to open our eyes to what is happening to the world’s species, and the very real – human – threats they are against.

So, we know what we’ll be doing on November 7th! Not convinced yet? Check out the trailer.



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