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Meet Koko, all-American girl-rilla.... The reason why I refer to Koko as I do has to do with Koko's trainer, Penny Patterson's justification for why (as a scientific researcher) she is teaching this gorilla to communicate as a human being by using sign language.
Believe me, what Patterson says in her rationale is totally laughable (and embarrassing), especially since she says it with such straight-faced sincerity.
Anyway - For the most part, this 1978 documentary was an fairly interesting view, which certainly had its equal share of good points, as well as its not-so-good points.
But, from where I am sitting - I'm dead-set against this whole idea of trying to make another animal view the world from a strictly human perspective. What I saw Penny doing was destroying the gorilla in Koko and, with that, turning her into just another spoilt, pampered, American, brat.
I really felt sorry for Koko having to endure Penny in her face all the time, demanding that she "talk" (sign) and, otherwise, behave like a human instead of a gorilla.
Yes. The viewer does hear both sides of this whole argument, regarding Koko's language learning, etc. - But, if you ask me - Way too much bias was shown towards Penny's side, as though what she was doing with Koko was the "right" thing.
Anyway - See for yourself. And then, you can be your own judge on the matter.
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