are our closest living relatives. They are also known to be
intensely social creatures capable of close and enduring attachments.
Most often they have been observed in the wild and in laboratories.
What would happen if chimpanzees and humans were members of
the same family?
is a story of an unusual nuclear family, Roberta and Phil
and the two chimpanzees they have adopted, Charlie and his
half sister Casey. It shows the joys and challenges of life
with our closest primate relatives. It investigates their
adaptive abilities when removed from their natural habitat,
their amazing mental capabilities, and the bonding love that
exists between chimpanzees and humans when they share such
see how chimps adapt to domestic life and even become like
surrogate children. Sociable and affectionate, they watch
television, play ball games and take walks in the woods with
their human caretakers. The living room is their playground
with ropes and swings hanging from the ceiling. Yet, they
are unpredictable and their strength makes them capable of
filmmaker lived with this unusual family on and off for three
years to capture these spontaneous and revealing moments.
She observes Charlie learning to use keys, painting pictures,
and throwing kisses at a friendly voice on the telephone.
The intimate, affectionate interaction of man and chimp in
day to day life will intrigue animal behaviorists as well
as general audiences.
Award for Excellence in Documentary 1995
Parnu (Estonia) Int'l Visual Anthropology Competition 1996
Animal Behavior Film Festival, Penn State University 1996
Directors Citation, Black Maria Film Festival 1997
New Documentaries series, MOMA, 1997