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Songs of a Gorilla Nation

Based on the Book by: Dawn Prince-Hughes
Director: Lydia Dean Pilcher


Songs of the Gorilla Nation follows the true story of Dawn Prince-Hughes, from growing up and living with undiagnosed autism to her self-discovery as a young woman that began —after a long stretch of despair, depression and homelessness — with a connection to a gorilla in the Seattle Woodland Park Zoo. This connection began a lifelong quest of understanding as a deep creative thinker, and ultimately as a primatologist, to show that apes fulfill all of the criteria that currently define personhood.

As the gorillas revealed for Dawn how to relate to humans thru the “opaque glass” of Asperger’s Syndrome, she connected to ancestral memory that “joined five million years of evolution and the generations travelled.” Dawn’s exquisitely perceptive voice and thoughtprovoking story inspires us to find our own looking glass to see that autism is a way of sensing the world — the whole world — of creating and knowing.

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