Synopsis by Mark Deming
Filmmaker Nicolas Philibert contemplates the effects of a life lived in captivity in this thoughtful documentary. Nenette is a 40-year-old orangutan who was born in a Borneo jungle but has been living in a Parisian zoo since she was three years old. Nenette has outlived her mates and spends her days in a Plexiglas cage with one of her offspring, sipping tea, eating snacks, and doing little as the zoo's visitors stop and observe her. In Nenette, Philibert focuses on the aging, red-furred ape from outside her cage, watching her just as most spectators do, while the zoo's staff and trainers talk about the orangutan, suggesting a disparity between the reality of Nenette's life and what humans read into the situation, as well as a disconnect between what we see and what we hear. Nenette was an official selection at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival.
captive, orangutan, primate, zoo