A TRUE CRIME DOCUMENTARY
PLANET WITHOUT APES
ABOUT THE FILM
The film follows reporter Michel Abdollahi on his worldwide search to uncover illegal trade of great apes. Together with former poachers, his journey begins in the Congo basin where he tries to see the last living bonobos. Instead, he finds a bonobo mother shot by poachers; for every baby ape that ends up in a zoo or as a pet, an average of ten adult apes die. To expose the traffickers, Michel pretends to be a buyer and secretly films the deal.
A whistleblower, formerly a key player in the illegal trade, reveals the role of corrupt politicians and officials. Michel travels to China, the USA, the UAE and Thailand, and sees how demand is a big driver for this trade. In a rundown zoo on the rooftop of a Bangkok shopping mall, Michel spots a hidden bonobo with questionable documentation. With the help of international experts like Jane Goodall, he tries to free the young ape. However, the Thai authorities ignore all evidence and refuse to cooperate.
Michel attends a conference in Geneva hosted by the UN body responsible for stopping illegal wildlife trade. He tries to convince them to rescue the bonobo. Will the international community take action? After all, the future of this bonobo will reflect how effective we are in protecting our closest relatives.
“It´s heartbreaking to see these innocent apes locked up in cages. They haven´t committed a crime.”
“We have to explain to people who want to cuddle a baby ape that somebody just killed its mother and father.”
“Everybody knows that nothing happens if you do not follow the rules. So it is just more profitable to not comply.”