Maria is an extremely shy orphan living in a convent. She is sweet—and almost totally covered with hair. This is why Antonio, a showman and impresario, decides to marry her. He persuades her to take up a life onstage in order to exhibit her exceptional hairiness: she becomes the “ape woman,” supposedly rescued from “the jungles of Africa.” But Maria is not a “freak”—she merely wishes to live as a woman. When love meets exploitation, Ferreri creates an unforgettable polemical tale set in the circus world, with a challenging performance by actress Annie Girardot. The Ape Woman underwent harsh censorship and is now presented with its three different endings: the one dictated by Italian censorship, the one provided by the French producers, and the one that Ferreri and his accomplice and co-writer, Rafael Azcona, had written. Courtesy of the Cineteca di Bologna.

For $30, receive one ticket to a film in Marco Ferreri: Beyond the Absurd and a select menu item at Café Paradiso, located in FLC’s Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. Learn more about our dinner and a movie combo here.