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Project Nim

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United Kingdom, United States · 2011
Rated PG-13 · 1h 33m
Director James Marsh
Starring Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen, Reagan Leonard
Genre Documentary

In the 1970s, Nim, a chimpanzee, became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised like a human child. Following Nim's extraordinary journey, and his enduring impact on the people he meets along the way, the film is an unsentimental biography of an animal we tried to make human.

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What are critics saying?


Village Voice by

Marsh's film remains a deeply haunting portrait of the unbridgeable gap between kindred species.


Slant Magazine by Andrew Schenker

To drive home the pathos of Nim's mistreatment, James Marsh frequently makes questionable use of the creature's apparent similarity to human beings, trading complex analysis for easy sentiment.


IndieWire by Eric Kohn

The movie works best when probing the nature of human interactions with Nim: He appears to form a close friendship with the stoner psych major Bob Ingersoll, not only foraging for food with him but also sharing joints.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

The good news is that the film's stylistic excesses don't negate the many fascinating aspects of Nim's story.


Boxoffice Magazine by Steve Ramos

British filmmaker James Marsh recreates this tale of an ambitious primate language study through traditional face-the-camera interviews, clever graphics and dramatic recreations.

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