What do animal emotions tell us about ourselves? Where did the human begin and the animal end?
This science documentary takes you on a moving journey through the history of feelings and the intellect,
featuring first-rate interviewees Jane Goodall, Frans de Waal („Mama's Last Hug “) and Volker Sommer.
Unique film footage proves that chimpanzees wage war, too; behavioural experiments demonstrate that chimpanzees also show compassion, cooperation, fairness and reciprocity. They reconcile after fights and comfort each other. It is not just humans, but chimpanzee societies, too, that have customs and traditions that vary from place to place. Is the emergence of morality and culture not a purely human achievement after all? The film takes us into one of the last great wildernesses in West Africa, the mountain jungle of Nigeria, and shows footage from hidden camera traps. What is the significance of the mysterious piles of stones left by chimpanzees near trees or in tree openings? Stone assemblages such as these have until now been exclusively attributed to Homo sapiens. Are there early forms of religion? How intelligent really are our closest relatives? What kind of societies did our common ancestors live in? Where does the phenomenon of xenophobia originate? Viewers are drawn into an exciting scientific thoughtscape. The film GREAT APES takes us on a cinematic journey into the history of feelings and intellect. Along the way, we gradually come to see our complex inner world a little more clearly.
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Documentary / XD CAM HD / 58 min. / 16:9 / English and German with English subtitles / Radio Bremen / ARTE 2021
producer, director and screenwriter: Anja Krug-Metzinger
camera: Helmut Fischer, Bernd Meiners, Birgit Gudjonsdottir
sound: Simon Raaf, Jörg Johow
film editing: Birgit Hemmerling
colour matching: Jutta Boukamp
photos great apes: Jutta Hof
design: Markus Holzum
music: Kai Powalla
sound mixing: Frank Buermann
narrator: Petra-Janina Schultz
coach: Holger Postler
executive editor: Mechtild Lehning
A production of Anja Krug-Metzinger Filmproduktion GmbH
on behalf of Radio Bremen
in cooperation with ARTE