Framed primarily as the story of the child Hiro and pack leader Kuro in a 160-strong pack of Japanese macaques, in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano.
The partly very unnatural environments are telling. These monkeys are clearly protected—at least from their natural predators—and accustomed to a human presence. I assume the story has been cleaned up, but it's beautifully filmed. The local species of monkey makes a good symbol of primitive humanity and our link to nature, as they are used in Baraka (1992).
One of the camera operators gets to be a star commentator, despite and presumably because of his profound ignorance of the subject. He actually intersperses his inane attributions of human sentiments to the monkeys with exclamations like “Is amazing!” With an expert commentator it would have been good.