Masked Monkey
Masked Monkey
77 min • Society, Nature & Environment • 2020 • M

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Performing monkeys are a common site in the crowded streets of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. The handlers teach their monkeys to perform tricks and uncanny human-like expressions as they seek donations from the public during their street performances. Handlers are under the control of “Monkey Bosses” such as Sarinah who work them hard to earn as much money as possible, often leading to depression for both the monkey and the handler. In 2013, then Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo seeks to put an end to this business because of outrage over perceived animal torture and exploitation. As things heat up in the city, the monkey performance industry battles to come to terms with their new future unfolding before them.