The Caged Camera

In each film I made, there was (at least) one failed experiment. While making Tarzan’s Testicles, I had this idea of filming from inside the cages, to emulate somehow what monkeys see and look at people from beyond the bars. So we placed the camera for several days inside one of the free cages and we stayed there for hours waiting for the tourists to come by.

Quickly, it became obvious that we weren’t going to emulate anything: tourists watched us and rushed away, because we were looking like a bunch of crazy guys, hunting them with our camera. Besides this, I felt they were somehow afraid of us, they avoided eye contact. This was funny, because the tourists were attracted to the monkeys in the cage next to us, which were in fact much more dangerous than we were. It happened often that a kid who came too close to the bars was bitten, or that the monkeys grabbed eyeglasses or even a phone from the visitors. But people stayed there, glued to the monkeys, fascinated and incapable of getting away.

Tania laughed – pointing us to the other caretakers – and that was the only pleasant moment. She threatened jokingly to release the baboon from the neighboring cage or to shower us with the hose. I gave up soon and never edited these scenes.

Our Crew in the Monkey's Cage
The Crew in the Monkey’s Cage

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