The dramatic gorilla documentary that has been impressing critics at film festivals this year just gained a huge ally and a big time distributor.

The creative team behind "Virunga" announced last Friday that Leonardo DiCaprio was being added as an executive producer on the film, and his Appian Way production company is partnering with Netflix on distribution. The film, about the deadly conflict between rangers and poachers in Africa's Virunga national park, is a natural fit for both newcomers. DiCaprio is making conservation a cornerstone of his legacy and Netflix has recently focused on expanding its cause-focused documentary catalog.  

"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,” the 39-year-old actor said in a statement. “Partnering with Netflix on this film is an exciting opportunity to inform and inspire individuals to engage on this topic."

In his review for Variety, Ronnie Scheib called "Virunga" a "rousing, must-see work." 

He added: "Midway through the film, Virunga comes under heavy attack, and von Einsiedel becomes a de facto combat photographer as fleeing refugees clog the roads, elephants, zebras and okapi race across the park’s open plains, and gorillas fearfully huddle together to the sounds of bombs and machine-gun fire."

"Virunga" will arrive in theaters (New York and Los Angeles) and on starting Nov. 7. You can watch the trailer below. 

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

DiCaprio and Netflix join forces to bring 'Virunga' gorilla documentary to more screens
Dramatic film chronicles the deadly poaching battle between rangers and thieves in Africa's oldest national park.