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PRIMATE (1974)

USA, 1974 (MIFF 2010, Wild Things)

Director: Frederick Wiseman

“It is essentially about one set of primates who have power, using it against another who haven't.” - Guardian

Prolific documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (whose La Danse is also screening in this year's program) has devoted his career to the observation of social institutions, such as hospitals, zoos and schools, exploring their functioning and the way that we relate to them.

With a detached but fascinated eye, Wiseman looks at the Yerkes Primate Research Center, where scientists investigate primates in terms of mental and physical development.

Observing just another day at the lab, Primate shows ethically questionable procedures that raise a multitude of questions surrounding the pursuit of human knowledge and its many repercussions.

D/P Frederick Wiseman WS Zipporah Films TD 16mm/1974

See also...


USA, 1983
Frederick Wiseman's latest work in an extraordinary succession of fifteen documentaries on the American way of life turns its pitiless glare away from institutional "casualties peace" to concentrate … More »

First Footage

France, 1984
As a result of assiduous research, Levy has uncovered footage from the first films of the masters of documentary: (oris Ivens Olga Alexandrova Vertova, lean Rouch Frederick Wiseman and Nagisa Oshima … More »


USA, 1975
Welfare is the ninth in a series of documentary films about American institutions by Frederick Wiseman. His films since 1967 include studies of the law, the medical profession, schools, the military … More »


USA, 1976
Frederick Wiseman's documentary, Welfare, was screened at last year's Melbourne Film Festival, Meat is his ninth film, a study of one of America's largest meat processing works It is located in Greel… More »


USA, 1995
... ... Veteran documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman turns his rigorous gaze on the cultural institution of classical dance in Ballet, an epic account of days and nights with the premier US nation… More »

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