Beyond observation, the agenda is rather aimless. Perhaps this is the filmmaker’s intention, to replicate the ape’s experience — as one zookeeper calls it, “the quality of her idleness.” In moments without voiceover, the film invites a trance-like appraisal, an idle curiosity. Ultimately, we’re left to contemplate the ethics of captivity and its emotional effect on the creatures we confine for our amusement and education. Philibert addresses this in the commentary, but captures it more subtly through glancing shots of trees swaying beyond a caged window — a distant freedom.
New review in this week’s capsule listings: Every Day.