Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Project Nim

Director: James Marsh

Nim Chimpsky is a young chimp taken from its mother's arms and spirited from a primate compound in Oklahoma to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. There he will be raised like a human baby. The experiment was done in the name of quasi research under the direction of Professor Herbert Terrace, Columbia University. Eventually the entire experiment was abandoned when Nim became too powerful and was eventually dumped in a chimpanzee enclosure. Marsh’s masterful documentary spins a harrowing tale of human arrogance that eventually gives way to out and out cruelty. This is an absorbing, and agonizing documentary about ambition, lust and heedless anthropomorphism and records suffering and manipulation so extreme that description can barely do them justice. Not for the faint hearted and a timely reminder if human can do this to a chimp whay could they do to you and me. Chilling.

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