7.4/10
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Project Nim (2011)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 12 August 2011 (UK)
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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.

Director:

James Marsh

Writer:

Elizabeth Hess (book)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 16 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 August 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Chimpanse-eksperimentet See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,820, 10 July 2011

Gross USA:

$410,077
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Veteran primate choreographer and actor Peter Elliott actually met and worked with Nim Chimpsky when he was researching chimpanzees for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984). He also met and worked with another famous signing chimp by the name of Washoe. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Null and void from start.
21 December 2011 | by c_a_simoneSee all my reviews

This is a movie about a project handle wrong from the starting line. At first I was intrigued by the idea of this movie. But upon the first few minutes I realized this is just a mess, they ruined their subject, NIM, right from the beginning. The woman Stephanie did nothing to try and raise the chimp in human fashion, outside of unconditional "love". She loved him, but she didn't guide him. This wasn't about accepting him as he was, the whole idea was to bring him up "human". She let him run free with no reinforcement to correct negative behavior to others. She seemed kindly enough, but so wrong for the intended purpose. By the time he was placed in the care of another more orderly individual, all characteristic traits had been ingrained in him. As with human kids their developmental stages end at 7, I am no expert but I imagine it is much earlier with chimps. The crucial time was missed and they thus messed up an animal, suspending him in a limbo of identity neither suiting him particular well.

The movie is more about a team of people trying to salvage and place an off the track train back on it, when the damage was already done.


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