‘Chimpanzee,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


A film that took more than four years and an extravagant amount of luck to make, “Chimpanzee” is an exceptional wildlife movie that should hold the interest of viewers from youngest to oldest.

Shot in the jungles of Africa, this film by directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield focuses on one family of chimps, led by an alpha male named Freddy. But the real subject is one of the family’s newest members: a newborn baby chimp named Oscar.

Over the course of the film’s 80 minutes, the camera captures the chimps’ daily lives and explains some of their behavior. It captures everything from tool use (using sticks to fish for ants and rocks to crack open nuts) to grooming (a social behavior that strengthens bonds) to the art of weaving a treetop bed out of supple branches.

Oscar is as camera-ready a hero as you’re likely to find – unless there’s another baby chimp available. He plays with his mother Isha, bugs the adults and copies the actions of his elders in the brood. He also hides for his life whenever Freddy’s family must defend its territory from encroachment by another chimp tribe led by a male named Scar.

This review continues on my website.

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