In this cinematographic essay by renowned documentary maker Jos de Putter, three famous apes look back on their lives. With the help of archive footage, we can join them.
First there is Cheetah, star of Tarzan films. He eats porridge with a spoon and augments his pension by making ape-stract art. On his 80th birthday, there’s a party and the guests watch as he blows out the candles.
Kanzi is regarded as the cleverest monkey in the world. For 30 years, he was filmed in a famous study about acquiring language. He now tries to transmit his knowledge to his two-year-old son Teco. Knuckles is the least fortunate of the three. He was subjected to tests that left their mark on his body and brain.
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?


Filmmaker
Jos de Putter
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Netherlands, Belgium
Year
2014
Medium
DCP
Length
75’
Language
English
Producer
Wink de Putter
Production Company
Dieptescherpte BV
Sales
Films Transit International Inc.
Writer
Jos de Putter
Cinematography
Stef Tijdink
Editor
Stefan Kamp
Sound Design
Alex Booy
Music
Vincent van Warmerdam