The « Men and Monkeys » project is an hymn to movement, it's a unique adventure in which, for the first time, monkeys and humans will be moving in the same environment : on the colorful roofs of Rajasthan! (India). Four Parkour enthusiasts are dreaming of flying away for 5 weeks, traveling 4500 miles away from their home to learn from monkey's agility and to share their experience through a documentary...
Who are we ?
We are four young people, all from Brittany. Three of us have been practicing Parkour for 8 years in the French Parkour group “West Coast Family” and two of us received cameraman, photography and video editing, formations and trainings.
What is Parkour ?
Parkour is a discipline that was developed by David Belle in the early 90's in the southern suburbs of Paris. Practicing Parkour is about learning how to overcome any obstacles within one's path whether it's urban or natural, and doing it as fast as possible.
The person who practices Parkour (the tracer) diverts the different elements of a city from their original aims. Everyday, we seek a way to learn how to move faster, more smoothly, more precisely, overcoming increasingly difficult obstacles. We ruthlessly try to know our bodies(y?) and its limits until our movements become instinctive. Movement is a way of life (also french “art de vie”) for(to?) us. Parkour expresses a philosophy of respect for your own body, your environment, but it also promotes caution and humility.
A video of parkour and Freerunning of Alexander Yde, member of the Monkeys and Men project
Making a dream come true...
The movements of animals are then an endless source of inspiration for us. The way in which monkeys move, jump, hang themselves hang, place their fingers or climb up walls, represents, to us tracers, an incomparable lesson despite our morphological differences.
So, the aim of this adventure would be to make an old dream come true : the dream to go and observe, and learn from monkeys moving from roof to roof in the villages of Rajasthan. Our documentary will report this 5 weeks experience and tell the story of this encounter. The “Monkeys and Men” Project will draw a parallel between men and Monkeys moving across rooftops. It will be an opportunity to observe the differences and similarities between our movements and theirs, and will offer an alternate look on our own condition by creating an original theatre where human is seen as an animal.
A monkey moving In Bundi, Rajasthan, India
The small village of Bundi, in the north west of India, is the ideal place to shoot this documentary. It hosts an important family of monkeys that live in an abandoned palace of the 12th century, up on a hill that culminates the city. During the day, the monkeys go down in the streets to get (or steal) food. It is, supposedly, an incredible experience to witness them. They are jumping huge distances from a roof to an other, running from a house to an other, climbing up electric strings and walls, running around the ruins of the palace.
The entanglement of the colored rooftops is also an ideal spot to practice Parkour. It's amazingly photogenic.
The playing ground, Bundi