May 6, 2011


The first trailer for the highly anticipated Project Nim has finally hit the web, and it was worth the wait. Hot on the heels of his Academy Award for Man on Wire, director James Marsh has picked a topic that has resonated through the festival circuit so far. The documentary follows the real-life project in the ‘70s that set out to teach a chimpanzee (lovingly named Nim Chimpsky) sign language in an effort to bridge the gap between man and beast. As with teaching any wild animal and given loose restrictions, chaos can ensue but sanity did prevail and genuine progress was made. Hit the jump for the trailer, logline, and what Matt had to say about the film during Sundance.

Here is the brief logline. “Project Nim 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.” You can head over to Apple to check out the HD trailer. The documentary will hit theaters on July 8th from Roadside Attractions and is rated PG-13.

Matt gave it an A, saying:

“While some of the people in Nim’s life are absolutely loathsome, others are heroes and it’s heartbreaking to see them severed from Nim’s life. But at other times, the film manages to stay light, whether it’s examining the dark absurdity of Terrace’s callous ambition or if it’s something as silly as seeing Nim smoke weed. But it all comes back to the impossible question of what it means to be human and if it’s possible that humanity can be taught. And if it can be taught, then who is qualified to teach it?”



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