VICE’s Motherboard releases Island of the Apes documentary and three short Dawn of the Planet of the Apes prequels

  • Alex King
  • July 30, 2014
  • Comments Off on VICE’s Motherboard releases Island of the Apes documentary and three short Dawn of the Planet of the Apes prequels


To celebrate the release of 20th Century Fox’s masterpiece Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, VICE’s Motherboard has partnered with Fox to produce Island of the Apes – a documentary that travels to Liberia to visit an isolated island that is home to former lab-tested chimpanzees.

Here is a synopsis for the documentary:

Our crew traveled to remote Liberia to discover “Monkey Island,” an area inhabited solely by former lab-tested chimpanzees who survived disease and two civil wars. As part of the Liberian Institute for Biomedical Research, also known as Vilab II, the lab produced important breakthroughs in developing treatments for a variety of ailments, including hepatitis.

The lab, which was funded by the New York Blood Center, shut down in the mid-2000s following growing pressure from activists looking to end the use of chimpanzees for research. Now the lab’s apes live on a series of islands that were originally set aside for their retirement. In this documentary, made possible by the new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, our team treks deep into Liberia to visit the island and investigate the legacy of the researchers who called it home.

Have a look at the trailer for Island of the Apes below, and you can watch the full documentary at the Motherboard website here.

Motherboard has also produced three short films that act to bridge the 10-year gap between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The shorts are definitely worth checking out, and you can find the links to the three films below.

Spread of Simian Flu: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 1) – see it here

Struggling to Survive: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 5) – see it here

Story of the Gun: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 10) – see it here

Motherboard is an online magazine and video channel from VICE that explores technology and the intersection of culture. Through short and long-form documentaries, photography, editorial and community participation, Motherboard provides a refreshing voice in the tech media landscape, filling the gap between more sterile gadget review sites, and industry news. Whether it’s gaming, art, sports, or food, Motherboard is there telling the story of technology’s role. You can visit the Motherboard website at

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is currently screening in cinemas around the country.


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