Project Nim

Project Nim

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Project Nim

Documentary about a chimp named Nim Chimpsky - put into a Manhattan family home in 1973 by a behavioural psychologist who set about testing Noam Chomsky's thesis that language is peculiar to humans. Could a non-human animal learn sign-language? From the director of Oscar-winning Man on Wire.

"After his early years with a quintessential, self-described ‘rich hippy’ Upper West Side family, Nim is transplanted to a university-owned upstate mansion. The chimp’s development and education is complicated throughout by romantic upheavals between the psychologist, Herbert Terrace, and his ‘researchers’ – and between the researchers themselves. For all its ebullience, enchantment and at times sheer cuteness, this is not one for children. What begins as an intriguing account of an unusual experiment shifts imperceptibly, and without a moment of moralism or hyperbole, into a story of almost Euripidean proportions – of trust and betrayal, of vengeance and redemption." (Source: NZ International Film Festival 2011)

Directing Award (World Cinema Documentary), Sundance Film Festival 2011.
201193 minsUK
Documentary
Director:
James Marsh ('Man on Wire', 'The King')
Writer:
James Marsh
Cast:
Herbert Terrace
36%
want to see

Streaming (1 Providers)

Reviews & comments

A fascinating documentary reminding us all that wild animals are not meant to be tamed

This fascinating documentary describes how researchers in the US in the 1970s tried to tame a chimp and communicate with the chimp through sign language. It provided an interesting expose on the researchers and research assistants' lives and everything that they had to go through to try and achieve a scientific discovery. The juxtaposition between...

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A provocative and surprisingly emotional saga that ranges from wrenching to downright hilarious.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Exploring Nim’s touching, tragic life via vintage footage and Errol Morris-style interviews, Marsh’s sensitive doc is a light look at some dark clues to the kind of creatures we really are.

4.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

A fascinating documentary.

0
New York Post

New York Post

press

Brilliant, provocative, clear of eye and heavy of heart.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Funny, tender and distressing, this is a unique story told with insight and sensitivity.

0
Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

A fascinating and in many ways tragic documentary.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Gripping, heart-wrenching, powerful and a sad indictment of scientific practice.

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

A provocative and surprisingly emotional saga that ranges from wrenching to downright hilarious.

0
Total Film

Total Film

press

Exploring Nim’s touching, tragic life via vintage footage and Errol Morris-style interviews, Marsh’s sensitive doc is a light look at some dark clues to the kind of creatures we really are.

4.0
0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

A fascinating documentary.

0
New York Post

New York Post

press

Brilliant, provocative, clear of eye and heavy of heart.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Funny, tender and distressing, this is a unique story told with insight and sensitivity.

0
Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

A fascinating and in many ways tragic documentary.

0
Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

Gripping, heart-wrenching, powerful and a sad indictment of scientific practice.

4.0
0

A fascinating documentary reminding us all that wild animals are not meant to be tamed

This fascinating documentary describes how researchers in the US in the 1970s tried to tame a chimp and communicate with the chimp through sign language. It provided an interesting expose on the researchers and research assistants' lives and everything that they had to go through to try and achieve a scientific discovery. The juxtaposition between...

4.0
0