Project Nim


A chimp off the old block

Director James Marsh can’t quite match his high-rise breathtaker Man On Wire, but this docudrama still paints a disturbing portrait of human arrogance.

The aim of the titular 1973 project was to study whether an ape could be raised as a human child and taught to communicate using sign language.

Marsh doesn’t overtly question the motivations of those involved, but their staggering lack of foresight grows apparent as Nim grows older and becomes less cuddly.

If Wire showed us man’s potential for extraordinary venture, Nim shows us his potential for crass, shortsighted failure.

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