A filmmaker sets out to investigate the legend of a Nazi war criminal hiding out on a remote Brazilian island… with a chimpanzee bride.
Filmmaker David Romberg grew up in Brazil’s Ilha Grande, where his father sought refuge from political persecution in his native Argentina. As a boy, he was told of the local bogeyman, a hermit inhabiting the other side of the island who, it was said, had taken a female chimp as a wife. Years later, Romberg returns to the island to seek out the truth behind this bizarre legend, and discovers strange parallels between his family’s story, that of other political dissidents who made the island their home during the tumultuous 1970s, and that of the “Man of the Monkey” – a Nazi who escaped persecution at the end of WWII.
With echoes of CROPSEY in its exploration of a childhood legend, Romberg’s film has a great hook – one mixing the mysterious and the taboo. A story about a crazy hermit is one thing, but add in the idea that he’s one of the legendary Nazis hiding out in South America, and that he has a cross-species bride, and you’ve got me sold on at least wanting to see more. Romberg’s taking a personal approach, which regular readers of w(n)td know has the potential for quite a few pitfalls, but given that his own history and that of his family is involved, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.