It doesn’t matter how logical and rational you think you are, chances are there’s at least one place in the world where you would never dare venture.
And if you haven’t found that odd place yet, the mysterious and creepy masked monkey slum of Jakarta is perhaps the nightmare you’ve been missing all this time.
Come, visit mystical Jakarta, a beautiful and ancient city with a 10 percent doll-faced, plague-monkey population rate! What? Yes, a 10 percent doll-faced, plague-monkey population rate!
That’s Kampung Monyet (“Monkey Village”), an infamous shantytown in the eastern part of the capital where people train macaque monkeys to wear children’s clothes and doll head masks. Why? For the glory of Satan? More likely to beg for money on the streets.
Yes, this really exists! The performances, called “Topeng Monyet” (Mask Monkey) are actually an old Indonesian tradition that goes back centuries, but it’s only in recent years that they started to resemble final bosses from Japanese horror games.
Past estimates have put the number of masked macaques in Kampung Monyet at 150, living in complete squalor with their owners and a whole lab-full of transmittable diseases, most notably hepatitis and tuberculosis.
The following movie is not trying to promote these monkey shows, but rather to document this reality. Alienation is a part of human behavior, ie using the weakest as prisoners. Here the prisoner is a Monkey.
But where is really starting this sad game? Could it be that the rules of human society in some cases promote alienation? The monkey show in Jakarta is a occasion to think about who is alienating who and why… Another weird custom: Did you know that Japanese kill every years hundreds of dolphins?
A few years back, the Indonesian government undertook measures to eradicate monkey shows, because they’re obviously wildly inhumane, both to the monkeys and to humanity in general. But they’re still around now; they’re just underground.
So if this sounds like your kind of thing, head on over to Kampung Monyet, and ask the shadiest guy on the street where a guy could go to stare into the face of madness and everything that’s worst in humanity.
You’re either going to a monkey show or the room he rents behind the butcher shop. You deserve it, either way.
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