Koko: A Talking Gorilla - Tribute Screening

This event took place on Jun 28, 2018

$12 General Admission
$9 Student/Senior
$7 Member

Barbet Schroeder
1h 20m


Koko the gorilla, one of the world’s greatest ambassadors for peace and understanding, has left us to be reunited on the astral plane with All Ball (her first pet kitten). We invite you to join us for a communal cry as we weep along to Barbet Schroeder’s wonderful 1978 film Koko: A Talking Gorilla, which documents the early years of a groundbreaking and illuminating study in interspecies communication.

Koko, born at the San Francisco Zoo on July 4, 1971, became the star subject of the longest-running primate language study in American history, learning an adapted form of American Sign Language. Her vocabulary was tremendous; under the loving tutelage of Penny Patterson, she learned and understood over 1000 signs, and more than 2000 spoken English words. But as astonishing as her capacity for language-based communication may have been, the depth and complexity of the feelings she shared are what we will remember most dearly about her.

Bring tissues.

*** *** ***

June 28 – 7:30pm
Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA

*** *** ***

French filmmaker Barbet Schroeder chronicles the life of Koko, an amazing female gorilla who is trained by Stanford University researcher Dr. Penny Patterson to communicate her feelings via basic American Sign Language. Through interviews with scientists and researchers, Schroeder also examines the ethics of animal experimentation and asks the difficult question of whether highly intelligent animals with seemingly human emotions should be granted the same rights as people.

Mr. Schroeder has assembled this funny, provocative documentary with gratifying intelligence and care.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Koko: A Talking Gorilla screened in Un Certain Regard section at Cannes.

Koko meets Robin Williams

…and Mr. Rogers

Trailer for the Nature™ home video release A Conversation with Koko

A modern browser is required to view this site.

Please update your browser.

Northwest Film Forum
1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

206 329 2629

Notify me when new films, events, and workshops are coming up!