The Ape Woman

Watch The Ape Woman

  • 1963
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 7.3  (942)

The Ape Woman is a 1964 Italian drama directed by Marco Ferreri. The film centers around a young woman named Maria, played by Annie Girardot, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder that causes her to resemble an ape. Maria lives in a secluded home with her father, Dr. Marini, played by Ugo Tognazzi, who is a scientist studying her condition.

Maria is treated more like an animal than a human, kept in a cage and subjected to cruel experiments. She is unable to speak and communicates through grunts and gestures. Despite her condition, Maria craves love and companionship, and becomes attached to a local farmer named Gianluigi, played by Achille Majeroni. Gianluigi is initially repulsed by Maria's appearance, but eventually comes to care for her.

As Maria begins to experience emotions and desires, her father becomes increasingly obsessed with his research and sees her only as a specimen to study. He shows little regard for her well-being and is willing to go to extreme measures to further his understanding of her condition. Meanwhile, Gianluigi's feelings for Maria are complicated by societal expectations and his own prejudices.

The film explores themes of exploitation, dehumanization, and the human desire for connection. It also serves as a commentary on the treatment of those with physical and mental disabilities, and the way they are often marginalized and mistreated by society.

Annie Girardot delivers a powerful performance as Maria, conveying a range of emotions through her physicality and expressive eyes. Ugo Tognazzi is equally impressive as her cold and calculating father, who becomes increasingly unhinged as the film progresses. Achille Majeroni provides a grounded and nuanced portrayal of Gianluigi, a man struggling to reconcile his feelings with his societal expectations.

The film's cinematography is stark and haunting, with many scenes taking place in shadowy, dimly lit rooms. Set against the backdrop of a desolate rural landscape, the film creates an atmosphere of isolation and despair that perfectly suits its subject matter.

Overall, The Ape Woman is a moving and thought-provoking film that explores complex themes with sensitivity and nuance. Its frank depiction of disability and exploitation may be difficult for some viewers, but its emotional impact and powerful performances make it a worthwhile viewing experience.

The Ape Woman
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (942)