Project Nim

Rated PG-13 99 minutes 2011

It may seem in outline like another standard-brand “talk to the animals” feel-gooder, but James Marsh’s solidly constructed documentary is more of a study of human behavior than that of chimpanzees. Nim, aka Nim Chimpsky, was raised in a special environment by researchers as part of an animal language acquisition experiment, circa 1970s. He learned quickly and garnered media attention, but his human handlers inevitably let him down. There’s a strong flavor of soap opera to Nim’s upbringing: envy, love spats, lack of discipline, most of it human. Luckily for us advanced bipeds, “chimps are very forgiving.” Enough irony here to power a half dozen relationship dramas, skillfully directed by Marsh (Man on Wire, Red Riding 1980) (93 min.)

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: James Marsh

Producer: Simon Chinn, John Battsek, Andrew Ruhemann, Jamie Laurenson, Nick Fraser and Hugo Grumbar


Project Nim

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