Sorry, this event’s been and gone
|Wed 4 Jul ’12, 5:30pm||
|Wed 4 Jul ’12, 8:00pm||
Where: Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North
Restrictions: All Ages
- Waged membership: $85.00
- Unwaged membership: $70.00
- Triple feature card: $30.00
- High school student: $30.00
Event listed by: Ross Stevenson
Directed by Nicolas Philibert
France, 2010, 70mins
French documentary-maker Nicolas Philibert’s latest is a compassionate, thoughtful portrait of Nénette, a jocular 40-year-old ape from Borneo who counts the zoo in Paris’s Jardin des Plantes as her home and its staff as her family.
We observe Nénette through finger-pawed glass as she sulks in a corner, tumbles around with her son or sloshes down tea, yoghurt and medication. The director takes pains to hide his own presence and give centre-stage to his magnificent subject, although this is certainly more experimental and demanding on the viewer.
Small details are magnified by Philibert’s long, quiet takes, and Nénette’s mundane human characteristics make us consider our own lives and how we relate to the natural world. Are we wrong to apply human ideas to her? We’re told that, docile as she seems, Nénette’s upbringing was painful and until recently she met human contact with violent indifference.
Of course, some may feel sad that we only see her in a sparse, sanitised environment, and Philbert earwigs on the reflections of those who pass by the zoo so we can develop our own ideas about whether casual voyeurism merits a lifetime in captivity. And if big questions aren’t for you, this is still just a wonderful film to gawp at. David Jenkins-Time Out
Did you know?
In the TV show Gossip Girl, season 4 episode 11, two of the main characters, Blair Waldorf and Dan Humphrey, both express their love for this film.
Screenings 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas.
Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.