About This Project

“Poetic, painful documentary about three retired apes: a film star, a scientist and a cripple. They look back at their lives and the intriguing relationship between humans and apes. Who watches whom, and who learns from this?” from: https://iffr.com/en/2014/films/see-no-evil

I feel honoured to have been part of the team that made the documentary See No Evil by Jos de Putter. Although my role has been a just a small part of the filming, I’ve only been involved in the filming of the story of Kanzi.


Kanzi is a Bonobo, living in the Iowa Primate Learning Centre in Des Moines, USA. The scientists are using a complex system of hundreds of pictograms called “lexigrams” on computer screens and printed charts to communicate with Kanzi and the other bonobos about daily activities, their wants and needs, and feelings.  During 10 days we’ve filmed Kanzi in its daily routines and the work of the scientists. For these recordings I was asked to place remote cameras in Kanzi’s room and so we were able to record some very intimate behaviour of Kanzi and the other Bonobos while they were working with the scientists. For example we’ve filmed Kanzi ordering his breakfast, teaching a little Bonobo his communications, making fire and flint stones and much more.


Director Jos de Putter

DOP Stef Tijdink

Sound Bennie Jansen

human documentary, natural history