Ape and Super-Ape

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Ape and Super-Ape
Ape and Super-Ape FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed by Bert Haanstra
Produced by Bert Haanstra
Written by Bert Haanstra
Anton Koolhaas
Narrated by Anton Koolhaas
Alexander Scourby
Music by Otto Ketting
Cinematography Anton van Munster
Edited by Bert Haanstra
Release date
  • 1972 (1972)
Running time
104 minutes
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch

Ape and Super-Ape (Dutch: Bij de beesten af) is a 1972 Dutch documentary film directed by Bert Haanstra. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.[1]

The film is also notable for featuring extensive documentary footage of the life of penguins on Antarctica almost thirty years before another documentary film, March Of The Penguins (2005) focused on the same subject. [2]


The film is a study of the differences and similarities between human and animal behaviour. The first part of the movie focuses on the behaviour of various animal species. The second half is about the behaviour of humans, often intercutting with footage of animal behaviour. In the original Dutch version writer Anton Koolhaas, who also wrote the script, provided the voice-over.

Haanstra had already shown interest in human and animal behaviour in his previous films, like Zoo (1961). Ape and Super-Ape analyzed these similarities on a much larger scale. In preparation for this documentary Haanstra and his camera crew traveled across the world for three years. They filmed animals and people in many different continents (Africa and Antarctica get extensive attention) en for scientific advice they visited the well known Dutch ethnologist Gerard Baerendts.

Haanstra would later make two other documentaries about animals: Nationale parken... noodzaak (1978) and Chimps onder elkaar (1984).


  1. ^ "NY Times: Ape and Super-Ape". NY Times. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  2. ^ "Bij de beesten af (1972) recensie - Cinemagazine". Retrieved 16 September 2016. 

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