Nature documentary screened in rainforest

The monkeys of Borneo in Indonesia better get their popcorn and banana snacks ready because they are in for a special jungle screening of the new documentary, Born To Be Wild.

A lucky group of orangutans will have the chance to watch the heart-warming documentary which tells the story of one devoted woman who rescues, rehabilitates and returns primates to the wild.

The Warner Brothers picture will be screened in Borneo rainforest where most of the filming took place, as a thank you gesture to some of the monkeys who co-starred in the film.

The President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, admitted that the documentary tugged at his heart strings. According to The Telegraph, he hopes it will inspire Indonesians to work harder to save the red apes from extinction due to the country’s rapidly decreasing rainforests.

Producer Drew Fellman (Made in Hollywood) is said to be eager to see if the primates will pay attention.

He said: “They worked pretty hard on it. They came to be like members of the crew.”

Narrated by award winning actor Morgan Freeman, the 40 minute film transports the audience to the lush, green rainforest where it documents Biruté Mary Galdikas and Daphne Sheldrick  – two extraordinary women who rescue and raise many orangutans and elephants, before returning them to the wild.

Canadian primatologist Galdikas  has devoted her whole life to looking after vulnerable primates. She set up her own orangutan orphanage centre just outside Tanjung Puting National Park in the early Seventies and has done much to publicise their plight.

Many mother orangutans have been killed after straying into agricultural plantations in search of food for their babies. Others have been hunted by villagers, occasionally for their meat, but primarily as pests.

Ms Galdikas is glad that the movie has finally reached its homeland.

The 65-year-old was reported saying: ‘It helps raise awareness. The average person in Indonesia still doesn’t yet understand the orangutan is a close relative and that they are a protected species and on the verge of extinction’.

The documentary shows how these endangered creatures are at risk of dying out due to the rapidly depleting rainforests. A staggering 90 per cent of all orangutans live in Indonesia, and over the 50 years, a shocking 50 per cent of their native rainforests have been lost due to the world’s demand for wood pulp, paper, timber and palm oil.

Another element of the documentary follows Daphne Sheldrick – a woman who has spent her whole life caring for orphaned Kenyan elephants, whose mothers have been hunted for their valuable ivory tusks. Her hard work and devotion earned her an MBE from the Queen in 1989.

The documentary reached the UK in April 2011 where it has been screened in 3D across various IMAX cinemas. It is still screening today amongst other 3D nature shows.

It has been highly praised, receiving a 96 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as being described by the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw as a  ‘charming’ and ‘pleasant featurette’ .

You can watch a short clip of Born To Be Wild below.

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