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Movie Review: Project Nim

The latest documentary from Oscar-winner James Marsh, who specializesin stories that would be impossible to believe if they weren’t true.

Project Nim

Genre:
Documentary

Director: James Marsh

Stars: Herbert Terrace, Stephanie LaFarge, Bob Ingersoll

Rating: ****



The latest documentary from Oscar-winner James Marsh, who specializes in stories that would be impossible to believe if they weren’t true.



His latest subject is Nim, the first chimpanzee to learn sign language who was raised by a hippie family in the ’70s (they also taught him how to use a toilet and smoke marijuana) and subsequently sent to an inhumane medical research lab once the professor in charge of the study lost interest.



Nim’s story is incredibly engaging, shocking, touching, and even funny, with Marsh nimbly weaving together interviews, archival footage and stylish reenactments.



It’s as gripping as any fiction film and poses intriguing questions about scientific ethics and what separates animals from humans. A new high watermark in the field of monkey movies (move over Ed).

 
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