We sat down with Mark and Alastair, following a screening and Q&A for Chimpanzee, at The Barbican last weekend. They talked about the good works this enchanting family movie has already supported and about the part we can each play in effecting a change. The pair were joined by legendary naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. Sir David – who has worked extensively with both filmmakers – was profoundly moved by the footage that Alastair, David and his team captured but is disheartened by the dramatic fall in the chimp population since his last expedition to see the animals in the wild more than 20 years ago. It is quite astounding to note that in 1960 there were a million chimpanzees in the wild, when today just a fifth of that number remain. During the Q&A he was emphatic in his belief that we owe a duty of care to chimpanzees – in the wild and in captivity. For too long, he said, they have been misrepresented, mistreated and killed. He drew particular attention to the horrific suffering of chimps used for animal experimentation and spoke out in support of The Wild Chimpanzee Foundation and the game-changing part they are playing in conserving the lives of these remarkable creatures. Later, in conversation with us, he was surprised to discover that his boundless enthusiasm for ooze had had a rather profound effect…
Our review of Chimpanzee is live here and the film lands in UK cinemas tomorrow 3rd May.