»Project Nim« is an inspiring and extraordinary documentary about an extraordinary individual—who just happens to be a chimpanzee. Nim Chimpsky (1973-2000) led a complex and often sad life: he was a subject of a scientific experiment that took him from his natural surroundings to live with humans who attempted to teach him sign language.

The experiment turned out to be much more meaningful than anyone expected. While Nim could be funny and loving, his needs soon caused confusion among his human caretakers. The results of Project Nim have been contested, but few can discredit the fact that the story is astonishing and deserves to be told.

Combining rare archival material with interviews with major figures in Nim’s life, the acclaimed director James Marsh is careful to examine the complex emotional and ethical issues surrounding the experiment. Among the remarkable group of interviewees are Professor Herbert Terrace, the man behind the experiment, and Stephanie LaFarge, who with her seven children was the first person to raise Nim.

Title
Project Nim
Director
James Marsh
Country
USA
Length
93 min
Festival
2011
Section
Documania
Language
English
Premiere status
Swedish Premiere
Production year
2011
Cast
Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen, Reagan Leonard
Producer
Simon Chinn
Music
Markus Kirschner

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