Sundance 2011: Video Review of James Marsh's Doc 'Project Nim'
by Alex Billington
January 21, 2011
Our very first film of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival was the newest documentary from James Marsh, the Oscar winning director of the documentary Man on Wire. It's called Project Nim and tells the story of Nim Chimpsky (seen above), the chimpanzee who in the 70's was raised from birth by humans and taught sign language as an academic experiment at Columbia University. It's a fascinating story and both thrilling and heartbreaking, so after the first screening, Ethan and I recorded a video blog with our quick thoughts on the opening night film. We recorded this last night before heading to sleep, but it's still a good quick review.
From the Sundance 2011 guide: From the Oscar-winning team behind Man on Wire comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who became the focus of a landmark experiment that aimed to prove an ape—if raised and nurtured like a human child—could learn to communicate with sign language. If a success the consequences would be potentially profound, breaking down the barrier between man and his closest animal relative and fundamentally redefining what it is to be human. This doc tells the picturesque story of one chimpanzee's extraordinary journey through human society and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets.