Gonsalvus – The Real Beauty and the Beast

1 x 52 min
Worldwide except for North America, Germany and France

From his birth in 1556 on Tenerife, Petrus Gonsalvus suffered from a rare condition now called “hypertrichosis” or “Ambras syndrome”: his body, including his face, was completely covered with hair, leading scholars to believe he was a talking ape. At the age of ten he was given as a gift to King Henry II of France, where he soon spoke fluent French, Italian and Latin and entertained the court with his brilliant conversation. The Queen decided to test if he really was human, and the pretty daughter of a court servant was bribed to marry Gonsalvus. But Petrus and Catherine finally fell in love and had several children; sadly, those who inherited their father’s rare condition were given away to other noble courts in Europe. Meanwhile, the film meets Larry Gomez, a Mexican-American actor who lives with the same condition today, which science can now explain but cannot “cure”. Will he too find someone to share his life? “Gonsalvus – The Real Beauty and the Beast”, like the 18th-century fairy-tale, is the archetypal story of how ignorance and cruelty can only be overcome by love.

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