NYT Op-Doc: Gorillas in the Crossfire
SAVING MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN A WAR ZONE
NYT Op-Doc: Gorillas in the Crossfire is a short documentary telling the story of Andre Bauma, a Congolese park ranger who works as a caretaker in the Senkwekwe Center, a mountain gorilla orphanage in the Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorillas in the Crossfire is a companion piece to the multi-award winning feature documentary, Virunga (available on Netflix). It was made to further illuminate Andre Bauma’s story and his efforts to protect the endangered animals in the face of poachers, social unrest and outright civil war.
Being an opinion documentary, we wish to respond to the misconception that putting so much effort into protecting the mountain gorillas isn’t justifiable in a country plagued by centuries of human suffering. The film makes a very clear and important statement: Securing the future of the mountain gorillas can have a very direct and positive impact on the Congolese economy and the welfare of local communities. By comparison, in the tiny neighbouring country of Rwanda gorilla tourism and related activities generate over $400 Million annually.
The film suggests that the sustainable development and utilisation of Democratic Republic of Congo’s natural resources can play a key role in helping the country recover from its turbulent past by providing stability and prosperity for current and future generations.
I worked on NYT Op-Doc: Gorillas in the Crossfire as a film editor with the director Orlando von Einsiedel, continuing our collaboration from the feature documentary Virunga. The op doc was produced by Joanna Natasegara for Grain Media.