Published: 3 February, 2011
by DAN CARRIER
NENETTE is a film about an unlikely movie star from the wilds of the Borneo jungle. While the lead loves a bit of Hollywood-style preening, Nenette is no dry-blown movie actress. Instead she is an orangutan who resides in Paris Zoo.
She is the main feature of a fascinating bio-pic out this week that tells the story of how Nenette was brought to the Jardin Des Plantes as a three-year-old and has now reached Grand Dame-hood, by celebrating her 40th – a ripe old age for a member of her species.
While this is a lovely offering in terms of watching an attractive orange ball of fur hang out all day and share her quizzical expressions with the camera, what is also amazing is the light it sheds on the species known as homo sapiens. Not only is our inherent fascination with other animals on display, the comments overheard – often without a shot of the person making them – as visitors trundle past her enclosure are thoughtful, stupid, hilarious and occasionally just weird.
Meanwhile, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in the Mall, the excellent eco-doc Gasland is still showing. Director Josh Fox investigates why a gas company would offer him $100,000 to squirt a vile chemical cocktail into the earth beneath his parents’ shack in upstate New York – and discovers the lethal side-effects of this type of energy exploration.