Tuesday, 17 January 2012


"An animal lover, I’ve never been as interested in chimpanzees like other folk are. But from the Oscar-winning team behind 'Man On Wire' comes the story of Nim, a chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate via sign language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Hmmm…

So we follow Nim's extraordinary journey through human society, and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets along the way, who mostly appear to be stoned, good looking (in a seventies kind of way), and shagging the ugly boss who really should know better. After all, with great power comes great responsibility, and to his credit, he clearly uses contraception. And a paper bag.

Project Nim is fascinating stuff. An unsettling biography of an animal you shouldn’t try to make human, especially when his first owner Stephanie failed to do it during those key early development years, what we ultimately learn about his true nature - and indeed our own – is amusing but deeply troubling. The only quibble is that we never find out whether Professor Herbert Terrace drugged all of his female conquests." DW

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