Project Nim Reviews
In a nutshell
NIM is taken from his mother at birth. He is given to a human family to raise. The point? To teach him sign language. So we can communicate with another species. Whoop, whoop.
NIM cannot speak. He cannot string together full sentences in sign language either. Yet we never doubt how much he loves, and how much he ends up hating, human beings.
The scene is not filmed, but retold by NIM's "human" mother. After years and years of neglect she at last decides to visit NIM as an adult chimpanzee locked up in a cage on a farm for lost and injured animals. She enters his cage. What he does next is riveting.
Is the film relevant today?
Have we learnt how to live in harmony with the planet? With other species? No. I guess the film is super-relevant.
Unfortunately it falls down on slightly ham-fisted direction at times, but still fantastic.
His story was clearly the basis for the Rise of the Planet of the Apes movie - but the impact is raised by knowing you're watching *mostly* original footage and people (occasional re-enactment).
Interesting subject matter, but they skimmed over the interesting details, and rushed away from the interesting parts. We barely heard anything about what they taught Nim.
'Project Nim' is directed by James Marsh and since it being a documentary no actors are presented here except for the real people involved with the project. They go by the names of Nim Chimpsky(the chimpanzee), Herbert Terrace, Stephanie LaFarge, Jenny Lee, Laura-Ann Petitto, Bill Tynan, Joyce Butler and more.
After viewing this I asked myself a question repetitively in my head "why did I wait this long to see
it?". 'Project Nim' is an unmissable documentary especially if you admire this particular kind of movie genre.
'Project Nim' tells the tale of a young chimpanzee(Nim) taken away from it's mother at only a few weeks old. For science Nim is raised by humans treated and taken care of like a regular child to teach the ways of human characteristics and to communicate. Along the way it shows the story of Nim, how he was raised and his generally how he came about to live his life.
'Project Nim' is a incredibly touching and compelling documentary. As I mentioned before I seriously have no idea why I avoided this film for so long because it's just simply brilliant. I am a big fan of documentaries, I feel they always bring something interesting to the table and most of the time they never fail to disappoint. 'Project Nim' is no different, not only are we presented with actual footage from the 70's and 80's(when this was all first filmed) but it also creates this heart felt presence of love and life.
Nim himself is a wonderfully, innocent and charismatic individual. Even though he is not an actual person the film is made and set out show what his life was like. He may have been the only lucky one in out of many chimps to have been selected to be part of this project, been given this opportunity to achieve the full potential of it's knowledge and apply it to the real world sounds like a breakthrough and a wonderful life for him. However, it does show and present a dark side to the world, an inside look to losing your family and friends, your home and especially your soul. That has got to be a creative and bold decision the director(James Marsh) could have made right there, in my opinion I thnk it worked out perfectly.
This movie was able to continuously drive itself through emotional stages of Nim's life. Not something I expected when the lead protagonist is a chimpanzee. I felt many emotions while watching it, Nim felt almost like a family to me too. With all the footage and information we are provided by real life interviewees, we get closer to Nim on a personal level and we feel his accomplishments and struggles every step of the way.
Thinking about it now I don't know why it hasn't been hugely successful, this movie is beyond what I pictured it to be. If you love documentaries and I mean absolutely love them, then without a doubt, don't wait a second longer find a way to get this in front of your eyes and admire this beautiful tale. Even if you're not a fan documentaries, well you know exactly what I'm going to say.