The Lost Colony
Directed by Astrid Bussink
Setting out initially to investigate rumors that the KGB had attempted to cross humans with primates, filmmaker Bussink made her way to the Sukhum Primate Center in the former Soviet republic of Abkhazia, the world's oldest monkey laboratory. The tumultuous 1990s were not easy for this pioneering research institution that was once the pride of the Soviet Union. The Laboratory that had trained primates for space travel and contributed cutting-edge research to the fight against cancer fell into decay in the years following the Georgian civil war. As the film shows, the buildings crumbled through neglect, but most of the monkeys escaped and are the focus of the lab personnel's struggle to keep the Center alive. Documenting these quiet but determined efforts, the film raises questions about large-scale politics and science, and underscores the stark reality of political and economic changes that affect everyone, animals included.
Contact: Charlotte Sarneel [email protected]