Alexandru Solomon in post-production with his documentary Tarzan’s Testicles
by Stefan Dobroiu
- The Romanian-French co-production explores human nature by looking at experiments performed on monkeys in an Abkhazian research institute
Director Alexandru Solomon (The Great Communist Bank Robbery, Cold Waves) is back behind the camera for Tarzan’s Testicles (working title), one of the most promising and challenging Romanian documentaries currently in production. The film starts by looking at experiments performed on monkeys in an Abkhazian research institute, in order to dissect human nature and how humans treat animals. The documentary also explores a socially and politically challenged geographical space and mankind’s need for new ideologies.
Following a five-year research period, production started in autumn 2015, with the project now in editing room. Solomon shot footage in Abkhazia, mainly in the capital of Sukhumi, and in Russian city Sochi. The documentary is expected to be completed by next March, with a domestic release slated for autumn 2017.
The €500,000 project is produced by Hi Film Production (Romania) and Seppia (France). Tarzan’s Testicles has received production support from the French CNC, Eurimages and the city of Strasbourg. The documentary received approximately €140,000 from the Romanian National Film Center in 2014. Rights to the film have been pre-purchased by HBO.
“There are 500 monkeys at the Sukhumi institute for medical research. The institute survived the collapse of the Soviet Union, as well as a civil war, famine and chaos. Among the ruins, man subjects these creatures, the most similar to him, to experiments, making them and himself suffer. My film looks deep into the eyes of these monkeys and searches for meaning there: who are we? What is our purpose on this world? And what is still left from our beliefs?” Solomon told Cineuropa.