Mountain Gorilla

Kingdom in the Clouds

Series 1 - Episode 1 Kingdom in the Clouds

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Review

There’s a lovely sequence in this enchanting documentary where a small mountain gorilla tries to master the delicate art of eating bamboo. It’s not as simple as it sounds. Raw bamboo gives gorillas diarrhoea, so they have to mix the shoots with other food.

Again, not easy, as the youngster finds when he gags extravagantly on a mouthful then comically falls backwards, clutching his toes. Mountain gorillas are just brilliant – funny, galumphing, sturdily graceful and incredibly tender.

Cameras follow a family of 46 living in the foothills of the Virunga volcano in Rwanda. Its leader is Dian (Gorillas in the Mist) Fossey favourite, Cantsbee, a big, breast-beating beast fond of hurling himself at undergrowth. There are just 700 mountain gorillas left in the world and they all live in this small patch of land.

Numbers dwindled during Rwanda’s savage civil war and there are still threats from poachers. So while this film is suitable for children, little ones may be distressed by images of butchered animals.

Summary

Patrick Stewart narrates this documentary, following the last remaining members of the species as they fight for survival on the slopes of central Africa. Dominant silverback Cantsbee protects those close to him as they make a perilous descent to feed on bamboo. On the other side of the Rwandan volcanos, a young female gorilla looks to her father for guidance after being deserted by her mother, and a teenage silverback tries to strike out on his own in Uganda.

Cast & Crew

Narrator Patrick Stewart
Executive Producer Sara Ford
Producer Nigel Pope
Series Producer Nigel Pope
Nature