The Urban Gorilla

For over a century man trekked into the African rainforest searching out one of his closest relatives. So similar to ourselves, we found these animals irresistible.

The Urban Gorilla is an intimate journey into the lives of nine gorillas living under human care, from a Congolese orphanage to a shopping mall in Tacoma. Through their stories we come to understand the extraordinary intelligence, complexity and sensitivity of this magnificent species. The film examines the dark mistakes of the past - and the efforts to create a better future.

Ivan at the B&I Shopping Mall

Ivan at the B&I Shopping Mall

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From THE URBAN GORILLA. Produced, written & directed by Allison Argo in 1992 and narrated by Glenn Close, this award-winning film was a catalyst for Ivan's move to Zoo Atlanta. Though Ivan's story is sad one, it ultimately had a happy ending.
From the award-winning film THE URBAN GORILLA, produced, written and directed by Allison Argo. When a young boy falls into the gorilla pit at a zoo in England, the stage is set for an emotional journey into the lives of gorillas in captivity.

This extraordinary story was filmed at Apenheul in the Netherlands. The film, broadcast by National Geographic in 1991, won dozens of awards internationally and opened the world's eyes to the welfare of gorillas living in captivity.



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Producer, Writer, & Director
Allison Argo

Robert E. Collins
William Simms

John Vincent

Glenn Close

Allison Argo
Robert E. Collins
George Stamer

Music Composition
Scott Harper

Executive Producers
Julia Mayer
Nick Noxon
Tom Simon
Tim Kelly

DuPont Columbia
Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
Christopher Columbus Award
WorldFest Houston Award
Genesis Award