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Project Nim (2011)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,309 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 30 user | 136 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s.

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Title: Project Nim (2011)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 16 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nim Chimpsky ...
Himself (archive footage)
Stephanie LaFarge ...
Herself
Herbert Terrace ...
Himself
Wer LaFarge ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jenny Lee ...
Herself
Laura-Ann Petitto ...
Herself
Bill Tynan ...
Himself
Joyce Butler ...
Herself
Renne Falitz ...
Herself
Bob Ingersoll ...
Himself
Alyce Moore ...
Herself
James Mahoney ...
Himself (as Dr. James Mahoney)
Henry Herrmann ...
Himself
Cleveland Amory ...
Himself (archive footage)
Marion Probst ...
Herself
Edit

Storyline

From the Oscar-winning team behind MAN ON WIRE comes the story of Nim, the chimpanzee who in the 1970s became the focus of a landmark experiment which aimed to show that an ape could learn to communicate with language if raised and nurtured like a human child. Following Nim's extraordinary journey through human society, and the enduring impact he makes on the people he meets along the way, the film is an unflinching and unsentimental biography of an animal we tried to make human. What we learn about his true nature - and indeed our own - is comic, revealing and profoundly unsettling. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language, drug content, thematic elements and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

12 August 2011 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Le Projet Nim  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$25,820 (USA) (8 July 2011)

Gross:

$410,077 (USA) (9 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Vow (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Distinctly communicative, harmonically photographic..."
4 May 2014 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

English screenwriter and director James Marsh's third documentary feature is inspired by real events in the life of a Chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky and is an adaptation of a book from 2008 called "Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human" by author Elizabeth Hess. It premiered in the World Cinema Documentary Competition section at the 27th Sundance Film Festival in 2011, was shot on locations in America and is a UK production which was produced by English producer Simon Chinn. It tells the story about a primate named Nim Chimpsky who was born in the early 1960s and who in the early 1970s moved in with an American family who were assigned to treat him as humanely as possible and to teach him to communicate with sign language.

Distinctly and precisely directed by English filmmaker James Marsh, this finely paced documentary which is narrated from multiple viewpoints and at times from the main subject's point of view, draws a profoundly involving and heartrending portrayal of an animal's interaction with humans during a scientific project and his ability to adapt in an unfamiliar environment. While notable for its reverent cinematography by cinematographer Michael Simmonds, production design by production designer Markus Kirschner, film editing by film editor Jinx Godfrey and use of sound, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about the life of a Chimpanzee and the people he acquainted which underlines the exceptional aspects of cinema and where it exceeds its potential, depicts a perspicaciously humane study of character and contains a great and timely score by composer Dickon Hinchliffe.

This informatively biographical, distinguishably sociological and densely historic though present retelling of real events which is set in the United States in the late 20th century and where the distinctions and similarities between human beings and chimpanzees becomes as apparent as the ricochet consequences of attempting to integrate and humanize an innate non-conformist, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, rhythmic continuity, use of archive footage and the narration of the interviewees' as a narrative device, the introduction of a man named Bob Ingersoll and the many charming, humorous, unsettling and genuinely gripping scenes of the socially adept Nim whose graceful presence lingers and affirms the right of animals to be treated with humanity. A distinctly communicative, harmonically photographic and admirable work of art.


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