Jan. 27, 2014 at 2:55pmFunky Little Monkeys

Premieres Wednesday

Biologist Colin Stafford-Johnson visited the island of Sulawesi 25 years ago and fell in love with crested black macaques — unusual looking monkeys who live in Indonesian rainforests.

His film on the black macaques premiers this Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 7-8p.m. in Spokane. 


The monkeys are so ugly they’re kind of cute with their black-almost-blue color, their punked-out Mohawk hairstyles, long unibrows, large, copper-colored eyes and huge teeth. They’re extremely intelligent and live in family groups with a complex web of relationships.

Stafford-Johnson, who fell in love with the creatures on the island of Sulawesi, returns to the island in this program to investigate why their numbers have dropped by nearly 90 percent. The filmmaker wants to help any way he can.

After 25 years the forests on this island have been replaced with a morass of people, industry and buildings which may have something to do with the monkeys decline. Other reasons are that crested black macaque meat is sold illegally in a marketplace where it’s sold openly. The macaque is critically endangered and laws protecting it have been in place for some time. 

A local team of biologists who have been studying the macaques for seven years meet with the filmmaker to hopefully gather local support from the community to protect the monkeys who are left … before they become extinct.

It’s an interesting and provocative film.  

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