“I like some animals more than some people, some people more than some animals. "
Renowned Dutch documentary maker Jos de Putter, (The Making of a New Empire) (Solo – Out of a Dream) (Beyond the Game) created a fascinating and almost painful documentary human thesis film called See No Evil (2014) (TRAILER). This mesmerising "piece of non-fiction cinematic beauty” is a strong and fragile reflection on loneliness and the respect of the others. The film is a truly an exciting tale that tells the story about three retired apes who live with men: a film star, a scientist and a cripple. —WATCH FULL FILM HERE—- Former film critic, political science, and modern philosophy post-graduate Jos De Putter really captures the intriguing relationship between humans and apes. Who watches whom, and who learns from this? We follow Cheetah (chimpanzee), the real star of the Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan films (Hollywood Tarzan movies of the 1930s–1960s as well as the 1966–1968 television series.), and ”ape-stract art” painter. The other Ape we follow is Kanzi (male bonobo). Kanzi is regarded as the cleverest monkey in the world. Bonobo’s DNA is as much as 98% that of Homo sapiens (nature.com) (smithsonianmag). For 30 years, Kanzi was filmed in a famous study about acquiring language (Intelligent use of lexigram) You will also see astonishing archive footage from Kanzi with Sue Savage-Rumbaugh, a renowned psychologist and primatologist. Kanzi now tries to transmit his knowledge to his two-year-old son Teco. And the last Ape we follow is Knuckles. Knuckles is the least fortunate of the three but a true hero of the space age. Knuckles subjected to NASA space tests that left their mark on his body and brain. De Putter looks back at the monkeys lives and with a perfect balance of archive footage (Film Editing by Stefan Kamp), cinematic picture (Cinematography by Stef Tijdink) and truly stunning original musical composing by Vincent van Warmerdam. The final thesis is simply mesmerising:“Finally, the film commemorates the unknown Roger, a deceased mate of Knuckles. Roger holds a mirror up to us in the epilogue. In all the years we have tried to teach apes human things, didn’t we forget something very important?” (IFFR.COM). Just like probably de Putters cinematic hero, Werner Herzog, De Putter uses significant trademarks: “animals doing unusual things”, “long, extended landscape shots”, “cellos and violins in musical scores,” and “uses archive footage from various sources.” It is then also of no surprise, that De Putter won the 2014 Viktor DOK.international award for best international documentary at Werner Herzog’s birth city of Munich. Jury:“A haunting, innovative use of non-fiction cinema film with an intelligent, experimental structure in both sound and imagery. A brilliant piece of filmmaking that puts people in the background but speaks volumes about humankind.” More: Filmmaker Interview | Jos de Putter | See no Evil – (VIDEO), NETFLIX’s VIRUNGA – (Article), HBO’s Project Nim (2011), by James Marsh from Elizabeth Hess (book) – (VIDEO), TED Talk Isabel Behncke: Evolution’s gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans – (VIDEO), TED Talk – Paul Piff: Does money make you mean? (VIDEO), TED Talk – Susan Savage-Rumbaugh: The gentle genius of bonobos (VIDEO), TED Talk – Jane Goodall: What separates us from chimpanzees? (VIDEO), TED Talki – Jane Goodall: How humans and animals can live together? (VIDEO). The quote above comes from one of the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, English primatologist Jane Goodall. Photo credit: Jos de Putter – Dieptescherpte BV. Sales: Contact Films Transit International here. A-true-FILM-to-Watch!