Koko: A Talking Gorilla

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Koko: A Talking Gorilla
DVD cover art
Directed by Barbet Schroeder
Produced by Margaret Ménégoz
Dale Djerassi
Barbet Schroeder
Starring Koko
Francine Patterson
Cinematography Néstor Almendros
Edited by Denise De Casabianca
Dominique Auvray
Distributed by Les Films du Losange
The Criterion Collection
Release dates
October 1978
Running time
80 minutes
Country France
Language English

Koko: A Talking Gorilla (French: Koko, le gorille qui parle) is a 1978 documentary directed by Barbet Schroeder that focuses on Dr. Francine 'Penny' Patterson and her work with Koko, the gorilla Patterson claims to have taught to communicate with humans using symbols taken from American Sign Language. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival.[1]


The film introduces us to Koko soon after she was brought from the San Francisco Zoo to Stanford University by Dr. Penny Patterson for a controversial experiment—she would be taught the basics of human communication through American Sign Language.


  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Koko: A Talking Gorilla". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-23. 

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