In anticipation of next week’s release of “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” 20th Century Fox and VICE’s Motherboard have unveiled “Island of the Apes,” a documentary that explores a real-life sanctuary for ex-lab apes in Liberia.
The doc visits “Monkey Island,” an isolated area inhabited solely by former laboratory chimpanzees who have survived disease, two civil wars and numerous medical tests and experiments. The filmmakers interviewed the locals and met the scientists active with the testing facility 25 years ago. The Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, also known as Vilab II, produced important breakthroughs in developing treatments for a variety of ailments including hepatitis but was shut down in the mid-2000s as a result of growing pressure from animals rights activists. The apes now live on a remote set of islands specifically set aside for their retirement.
Could these chimps eventually rise up and takeover the world like those in the famous films? Who knows, but at least for now they’ve found a nice place to live without all of the testing. Watch the full documentary below:
20th Century Fox and Motherboard have also released a trilogy of short films inspired by the in-film ten years between “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and its sequel “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” called “Before the Dawn.” The shorts address the post-apocalyptic survival related to the spread of the simian flu from the 2011 movie. How would you have survived the plague? Watch all three below: