A treat and a tease just landed in my inbox. It is the first six minutes of Project Nim. The film is a documentary about a chimp that was raised as a human to study if the chimp could develop any language skills. I learned about this study when I was in undergrad at UGA. I took an upper-level psychology class that was just on primate behavior. I find documentaries like this disturbing, from an animal keeper perspective. I first saw the trailer a couple of weeks ago, and I found it odd that it came off as a comedic and light. I hope the documentary addresses the serious subjects that it could. Synopsis:
“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.”
Project Nim arrives in select theatres July 8, 2011.
I included the trailer before the film’s sneak peek.