Experiencing Interruptions?

The Man of The Monkey

Intrigued by the tale of a strange man living in isolation with a chimpanzee, filmmaker David Romberg travels to his childhood home in Ilha Grande, Brazil to find him, only to discover that the tale pales in comparison to what he uncovers.

Set on a remote jungle island, “The Man of the Monkey”, unravels a labyrinth of interconnected uncanny characters, all seeking refuge. Amongst them, an exiled Argentine Jewish artist haunted by phantoms of the past, a former prisoner with nowhere to go, and a suspected Nazi living in isolation with a monkey.

Moving between personal and collective histories about political turmoil and displacement, the film illuminates the intricacies and contradictions by which trauma defines our identities in the never-ending search for a home.

The film has gone through the following programs/funds:
Heineken VOCES Grant
TFI Latin America Fund
IFP Documentary Filmmaker Lab

  • David Romberg
  • Gaston Girod
    Ruben Blades Is Not My Name, El ojo del tiburón, 327 Cuadernos
  • Carlos Cambariere
    Un gallo para Esculapio, Relámpago en la Oscuridad,
  • David Romberg
  • Robert Girvin
  • David Romberg
  • Daniel Chalfen
    War Don Don, Budrus, Meeting Resistance
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Mystery, Journey, Latin American, ecology, Brazil, Islands, travel
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    August 30, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    300,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Argentina, Brazil, Israel
  • Language:
    English, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - David Romberg

David Romberg spent his childhood living in Brazil and Israel. Currently he is based in Philadelphia and has been supported by the Tribeca Film Institute's Latin American Media Arts Fund Heineken VOCES Grant, The Princess Grace Foundation Grant and was selected to participate in the 2014 IFP Documentary Labs Program. David has also recently become a fellow of the Robert Flaherty Seminar and was awarded a Princess Grace Special Project fund to develop his upcoming docu/fiction film "The Return".

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

With a family history marked by displacement and migration, the themes of my films are centered in the blurry boundaries between trans-generational trauma, memory, storytelling and mythology, all the while shifting between the personal and the historical. More specifically, the stories I tell, like my own, are inspired by the influences of multiple continents, cultures and communities, from Latin America to the Middle East. Growing up in such cross-cultural environments, I became interested in making films that meditate on questions of belonging, nationhood and notions of home.