What’s more powerful than a bond between man and his best friend? In the next episode of Documentary Now!’s fifty-third season, it’s the bond between a sensitive filmmaker and a monkey he sees at the zoo and decides to make his next subject.
“My Monkey Grifter,” serves as a spoof of Netflix’s autobiographical documentary My Octopus Teacher. In the episode, The Afterparty’s Jamie Demetriou plays Benjamin Clay, a bright-eyed filmmaker who grows exceedingly close to a monkey in captivity, Lulu. An exclusive new clip from the episode sees Benjamin locking eyes with Lulu for the first time during an especially emotional visit to the zoo.
Benjamin has always had a special relationship with the zoo, he reveals in voiceover—his father used to bring him as a child. It’s just as Benjamin is wading through his emotional bag that he locks eyes with Lulu—and envisions his next big documentary in her eyes.
“There was a kindness in her face that had been absent from the people in my life,” Benjamin muses. “While they peppered me with aggressive questions like ‘Did you really think that crazy man could talk to birds?’ or ‘How could you forget it was Nigel’s birthday,’ Lulu exuded empathy.”
But not even her air of empathy, Benjamin emotionally recalls, could prepare him for what happened next— Lulu waved at him (or equally as likely, absentmindedly aired out an armpit.) It was right then and there that Benjamin knew he had to spend a year filming Lulu every day, all in the name of becoming a better person.
“My Monkey Grifter” became available to AMC+ subscribers on November 2, and will arrive for the rest of the world’s viewing pleasure on IFC November 9.