Chimpanzees: An Unnatural History
Video: Behind the Scenes with the Filmmaker

Filmmaker Allison Argo had filmed chimpanzees in the wild, in a remote part of Tanzania. Watching black and white footage of chimps dressed up in human clothing for entertainment was both fascinating and disturbing for her. Argo decided to make a film that would tell the stories of some of the individual chimps she had encountered, so their sacrifices would never be forgotten.

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  • Peter

    It’s too tragic……

  • V Ray

    As long as we are preoccupied with the stock market and our “financial” problems (everyday), and red states and blue states, etc., we will neither understand, nor comprehend and appreciate the nature, the beauty, the tragedy, the love that life is, or what to do about our real problems and opportunites. Your program covered it all. Thank you.

  • Chip Whittingham

    This film could have been a lot more grim, focusing on what had been done to the chimps rather than on what’s being done to try to help them. As it was, I was left with tears in my eyes.
    It’s easy to be judgmental about attitudes we humans have toward the other critters we share this planet with, and our actions that are based on our attitudes. And I am; I am judgmental.
    How we treat our fellow critters is the one thing that continues to break my heart.

  • Sharon

    Tears flowed as I watched this documentary. The plight most animals suffer once in our hands is horrifying. Thank you Allison Argo for bringing the heartbreaking story of captive chimpanzee to light and showcasing the dedicated few who try to better the time they have left.

  • Pallavi Gupta

    I came upon the documentary while surfing through the various channels. I was captivated…the eyes of the chimps told so much, and saddened, that we humans have indeed become so self-indulgent that we can be so cruel to these animals, who cannot speak for themselves and defend themselves against the onslaught. Kudos to all the people who have made such great effort to care for them and give them some semblance of normalcy.

  • Joshua

    This is truly an eye and heart opener for myself to watch this documentary. So sad, emotions within nade me cry uncontrolably for these amazing chimps who’s lives have been robbed by mans own selfishness, To the people who have and are doing so much to give these beautiful chimps a better life and a happy ending, Thank-you for your Love and Compassion.

  • Elizabeth

    How can we call ourselves a “civilized” race! I found myself in tears watching this program. Thinking we are the only ones with emotions, families and friends, just shows how ignorant we can be. The cruelty shown is un-called for. Never to see the light of day or have any freedom makes me want to scream for the chimps. Why do we think we can do whatever we want to each other and have no consequences?! To the people who have donated their time and lives-god bless you. Thank you for showing this story. It gives you something to consider-what if we were the ones in the trees?
    Would you do these things to people? Would it make a difference?

  • Judy

    I’ve watched this program twice and it breaks my heart. Does anyone know the sanctuary’s official website so we can stay updated or donate?

  • halfmonk

    every person in this country should see this film. my first inclination is to want all humans eradicated from the planet (which may happen anyway) but this film is actually about the few amazing humans that care for the chimps. they are truly amazing individuals and their actions come close to redeeming our species. in the langugae of my spiritual path, “where there is a need, a buddha appears.” if you are moved by this film, i respectfully request that you visit savethechimps(dot)org or faunafoundation(dot)org or a similar organization and adopt a chimp.

  • Ginger

    My heart is broken and I’m incredibly saddened.

  • Julie

    I watched this last night and cried; an absolute tragedy. One could say we often treat the hungry, the homeless, and the poor the same way. If one looks the other way, one is as guilty as the research scientists.

  • Aleah

    I stayed up to watch this film. This should be shown in every school so we can all learn how to make a difference and help the chimps.

  • Shelly C

    I really wish the world could stop and everyone could sit down and watch this documentory, every on ein this is a total inspiration to me and the world need to see the disgrace that has been done and that is being done to chimpanzees. I am ashamed to be from a Country, the United Stated of America, that still uses Great Apes and especially for the ones they are not using anymore and because of overbreeding for HIV/AIDS experiments and they are sitting in cages somewhere , lonely and needing to be moved to Sanctuary, they Government needs to use the funds the Billions of dollars they spend on the so called doctors/scientists to torture the chimps into a Sanctuary fund and get them out of those dungeons!

  • kim

    ahh, just to find the words is hard. I don’t know how anyone could watch these videos and not be heartbroken. I know that even in the best sancutaries that the bars still have to be in place, but it would be so nice if the bars could be painted or made to look like vines, silly I know, but the bars just look so cold, maybe looking through the vines would make the chimps feel more like they are not still captive.
    Please do not stop making your documentories, the information you are able to give those of us who have no idea this is “still” happening is priceless.
    Thank you!

  • Debbie

    My heart was truly broken watching this film. As hard as it was to watch the first time, I was so captivated by it I watched it again. Thank God for the angels on earth that watch over and protect these creatures. I hope that by making people aware of this that the ones with the financial capabilities to help will truly do so.



  • Wanda

    There is so much we can do for them, they need your voice. Please write to your state senator, representative, governor, mayor, everyone in congress, including the President. They are the ones that make the laws and use our tax dollars to fund the experiments. Go to Project R&R, sign the petitions. Support a primate sanctuary that is near you, they need help taking care of the Chimps.Together we can change their world, and get all of them in sanctuaries.

  • serena


  • Paul

    Watching this film for the 2nd time did not make it any easier for me to comprehend why we don’t take better care of these fellow animals. I would certainly live a shorter life in order to keep them from being lab chimps. Their forgiving and playful nature should be a lesson to all of us.

  • john649

    What an incredibly beautiful documentary!! I am so glad the time has come for the animal rights movement to finally begin to demand their rightful freedom and right to live in a peaceful and safe environment. What a beautiful species and like most animals they have a heart of gold. So many animals have gifts beyond the human dimension or capability to carry unconditional love. The human ego is truly a deceptive and evil tool that has brought endless pain and horrific abuse to millions of beings and this use of the ideology that somehow a god has decreed this torture only shows the depravity of the human mind. NO CHIMP deserves to go through any of this torture for the life of a human. It is humans who have desecrated this earth and ravaged the resources and are suffering because of it. The human ego that thinks it is deserving of a life while smashing anything in its way is the most vile of all creatures.

  • Lee

    How do you stop love? You can’t. Think about that.

  • Kai Lee

    There is a lot of good information on this subject at, and some petitions you can sign to support the Great Ape Protection Act.

  • janet ramos

    This was an incredible program, i have not cried this hard for along time, these precious animals are so close to us as humans, how can we allow this to continue, I believe the time has come for Americans to do the right thing, we must care for the Animals if they go, then surely we are next…anyone have the site for numbers for these places that care for them ..please let us know, I would love to send my money to help them.

  • Faith

    What I find truly appalling and unworthy of any kind of forgiveness is this: “My” Government holds Life to be so sacred and inviolable that bits of lifeless tissue cannot be used for medical research. However, “my” Government uses my tax dollars to perpetuate unimaginable tortures on fully-functioning, sentient creatures. Sleep well, prolifers. And be sure to take your meds, some stupid animal in a lab says, “You’re welcome.”

  • Cliff

    I was brought to some harsh tears. Things like this are never heard of unless someone like you all bring it to our attention. We are all wrapped up in wars, politics , financials and stories like this get lost making it hard to help a good cause. I want to help and also help spread the word to others I know would want to be a part of this wonderful mission to save the Chimps!!!!! Makes me SICK to know my tax dollars are being used for something like this!

  • blaqk iz beutiful

    awww poor lil monkeys

  • hitted claire

    this has touched my heart

  • zoey

    Thank you for bringing Andrew Westoll’s beautiful book alive for me!

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    I just registered an email for guests to RSVP to as elopingsoundsgood’.

  • trajman

    Crucify those underveloved disgusting bastards.

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