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Koko: A Talking Gorilla (1978)

Koko, le gorille qui parle (original title)
Not Rated | | Documentary | 4 December 1979 (USA)
A documentary that follows Dr. Penny Patterson's current scientific study of Koko, a gorilla who communicates through American Sign Language.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Koko ... Le Gorille
Penny Patterson Penny Patterson ... Herself
Saul Kitchener Saul Kitchener ... Directeur du Zoo de San Francisco
Carl Pribram Carl Pribram ... Le professeur de Neuroscience
Roger Fouts Roger Fouts ... Le docteur en psychologie
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Storyline

A documentary that follows Dr. Penny Patterson's current scientific study of Koko, a gorilla who communicates through American Sign Language.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

France

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

4 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Koko, a Talking Gorilla See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Maid (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All In The Name Of Scientific Research?
28 September 2015 | by strong-122-478885See all my reviews

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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