DER Documentary

Rhesus Play


by John Bishop
color, 24 min, 1977




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Rhesus Play shows and analyses aggressive play - play fighting and play chasing - among free ranging rhesus monkeys of La Cueva Island, Puerto Rico. It confronts the question of why monkeys play by examining what they do when they play, and illustrates that the fundamental objective of play fighting is to bite without being bitten, a goal attained in part by climbing on top or getting behind the play partner. Sections illustrating development of aggressive play and play between mis-matched individuals elaborate the theme: play fighting functions to practice and perfect fighting skills.

Review of Rhesus Play by Suzanne Ripley in American Anthropologist

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Margaret Mead Film Festival New York, 1977
Robert Flaherty Seminar, 1978
Conference on Visual Anthropology Temple University, 1978
New York Visual Anthropology Center, 1978
American Society of Primatologists Emory University, 1978

Related Films
The Primate Series



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