The Man of the Monkey

Supported by the Tribeca Film Institute, Documentary Independent Filmmaker Lab alumni David Romberg came up with this vital project that traces a link between his past and his present. After hearing a legend about a dangerous man who lived with a monkey in Ilha Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Romberg decided to travel to his hometown. Intrigued by its history, he dug into his childhood in search of the man with the monkey.


For ten years, Romberg has been compiling information about the story of a German man who lived in the middle of the Ilha Grande jungle with his wife and a monkey. This intriguing documentary takes us through the aftermath of World War II, and teaches us about the director’s complex Jewish heritage that has marked his way of seeing the world, and the inexhaustible search for a home for those who have never been allowed one. The place where Romberg grew up, full of mystique and paradisiacal beaches, will be darkened by the discovery of what had remained hidden in the immensity of the jungle.

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Year: 2021
Runtime: 90 ‘
Country: USA, Brasil
Direction: David Romberg
Cinematography:Gaston Girod
Genre: Documental
Subtitles:  Inés Martín Llorente
Contact: David Romberg

Wins & nominations

2021: Tribeca Film Festival – Latin America Fund
2021: The Miami Jewish Film Festival