THE APE WOMAN is an early film by the director of ‘La Grande Bouffe’, Marco Ferreri known for his signature edgy exploration of the grotesque and the irreverent.
Marco Ferreri was so outlandish and scathing, as a film-maker who relentlessly dissected our society, that the Establishment labelled him ‘dangerous’ ! Yet, because or despite of this, he was revered by critics and the Cannes Film Festival who awarded ‘The Ape Woman’ and many of his other works.
‘The Ape Woman’ (original title ‘La Donna Scimmia’) is inspired by the true story of the cruel exploitation of a young woman circus performer whose body was completely covered in hair. She is brought to life here by Annie Girardot - France’s highest-paid actress of the time – in a natural measured and elegant performance from which emanates the ambiguous emotion of being alluring yet devastatingly poignant as ‘the ape woman’.
An unscrupulous hustler (Ugo Tognazzi - La Grande Bouffe) discovers in a convent a young woman whose body and face are covered in hair. He marries her in order to get her on the freak-show circuit and cash in on her distinctive appearance.
Ferreri’s Director’s cut was deemed too cruel and too pessimistic by the producers who then asked Ferreri to make an alternative ‘happy ending’ version expressly for the Cannes Film Festival which went on to nominate the film for the Palme d’Or.
CultFilms presents Ferreri’s own original edit, shown complete and uncut, finally doing justice to the director’s condemned vision. And also on the same disc is the longer, alternative Palme D’Or ‘happy ending’.
Both versions were recently restored in 4K for the Classic section of the Venice Film Festival.
- New 4K-Restored Version
- Two separate film endings: Director’s and Producer’s versions
- Exclusive 90 min documentary on Marco Ferreri with Gerard Depardieu, Philippe Noiret, Cristophe Lambert, Ornella Muti among others
- New subtitles and Hard-of-Hearing Closed Captions