Cheeta is celebrating his birthday. There is cake, candles and an audience. The chimp turns 80 – even though he was born in the 1960s. The animal does not know how to tell about his past. The animal cannot tell that he actually hasn’t acted in any of the Tarzan films. The animal is celebrated as a star because this is how he has more value to his owner.
Kanzi tries to teach his son a language. This bonobo, titled as the world’s most intelligent animal, has learned to communicate with the help of images. The baby ape is however more interested in being a child. And Kanzi does not seem to have purely unselfish motives for teaching his son. The correct choices are rewarded, and the monkey knows this.
Knuckles is laying in his bed. The disabled chimp takes us on a walk down the memory lane: to a time when the United States still sent apes into space. The majority of them died during their space odysseys. Every year millions of animals are sacrificed in the name of scientific research.
The destiny of these three apes is shadowed by one truth: humans are beasts to animals. The poetic film by Jos de Putter does not provide us with answers but it asks an important question. Could we learn something from these animals? Empathy, for example?
Text: Mikko Raatikainen
- Director: Jos de Putter
- Country: Denmark, Belgium
- Year: 2014
- Length: 72 min
- Age limit: null
- Cinematography: Stef Tijdink
- Editing: Stefan Kamp
- Audio: Benny Jansen / Boon&Booy
- Music: Vincent van Warmerdam
- Production: Jos de Putter / Dieptescherpte BV
- Cinema Artis hall 1: Sunday 01.02 - 18:00