Barbet Schroeder

Koko: A Talking Gorilla

Koko: A Talking Gorilla

In 1977, acclaimed director Barbet Schroeder and cinematographer Nestor Almendros entered the universe of the world’s most famous primate to create the captivating documentary Koko: A Talking Gorilla. The film introduces us to Koko soon after she was brought from the San Francisco Zoo to Stanford University by Dr. Penny Patterson for a controversial experiment—she would be taught the basics of human communication through American Sign Language. An entertaining, troubling, and still relevant documentary, Koko: A Talking Gorilla sheds light on the ongoing ethical and philosophical debates over the individual rights of animals and brings us face-to-face with an amazing gorilla caught in the middle.

Film Info

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer supervised and approved by director Barbet Schroeder
  • New video interview with Schroeder
  • Alternate French-language audio track with optional English subtitles
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A new essay by author Gary Indiana and an homage to Koko from Marguerite Duras

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored digital transfer supervised and approved by director Barbet Schroeder
  • New video interview with Schroeder
  • Alternate French-language audio track with optional English subtitles
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: A new essay by author Gary Indiana and an homage to Koko from Marguerite Duras

New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Koko: A Talking Gorilla
Cast
Penny Patterson
Saul Kitchener
Koko
Credits
Director
Barbet Schroeder
Associate producers
Dale Djerassi
Associate producers
Barbet Schroeder
Cinematography
Nestor Almendros
Additional footage
Ned Burgess
Editing
Denise De Casabianca
Editing
Dominique Auvray
Production
Margaret Menegoz
Production assistant
George Csicsery

From The Current

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Inside Criterion / On the Channel — Apr 6, 2018
Koko and Her Kittens
Koko and Her Kittens

Koko the gorilla has found some new friends.

On Film / Short Takes
Oct 20, 2015
Barbet and Koko: An Equivocal Love Affair

Barbet Schroeder is a director who prefers the appellation “explorer” to that of “auteur,” and again and again his films demonstrate both his intense curiosity about the unexplored and his willingness to allow material he discovers to speak f…

By Gary Indiana


Jul 11, 2006