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Project Nim2011

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  • 4.2
From the Oscar-winning team behind MAN ON WIRE comes the fascinating story of Nim, the chimpanzee who became the focus of a landmark 1970s experiment to prove an ape could learn to communicate with language—if raised and nurtured like a human child. But as Nim's natural instincts take over and the humans around him fail to protect him, things do not go according to plan in this insightful and unflinching story of one animal's remarkable interaction with human society.

Member Reviews (3)

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top reviewer

A remarkable, heartbreaking and fascinating documentary following the life of a chimpanzee named Nim as he is moved from one extreme situation to the next as a result of a misguided experiment that was wrong, short-sighted and lacked planning in every way from the very first step. Ostensibly, the initial project was meant to explore the possibility of interspecies communication, but lacked any kind of scientific method, planning, control or oversight. Its poor conception and execution doomed Nim to a rollercoaster life, bouncing between a mansion in the country side, an animal testing lab and a horse sanctuary (!) to name only a few examples.

Not always easy to watch, but it’s an intriguing story nonetheless, as well as being a well-constructed and well-researched documentary.

I watched the opening scenes and was immediately angry that the baby was taken from its mother. What RIGHT did they have to do this crime, just to teach it human communication? It's ludicrous. We're playing games with the lives of sentient beings to satisfy our egotistical, human-centric experiments. Chimps don't need learn human communication, and they are not there to experiment and play on. If we commit evil acts to slake our thirst for dubious knowledge that means nothing anyway, it is unjustified and we are Nazis. There is nothing redeemable here.

very interesting documentary of how animals can acquire language skills. sad to see how Nim's life ended.