March 3, 2024


Showing: Wednesday, September 21 - 8:00 pm
Year: 2011
Country: UK
Genre: ,,

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MEET THE FILMMAKERS: Post-film discussion with Rockland actor Bern Cohen and members of Nim’s first adoptive human family, moderated by New York Times “Science Times” editor David Corcoran.

Oscar-winner James Marsh (Man on Wire) tells the story of Nim, the “subject” of a 1970’s experiment to see whether a chimp raised like a human child could learn to express thoughts and feelings through sign language. But the study was abandoned when the adorable, intelligent baby chimp became a less manageable adult, and Nim’s later life was a tragedy worthy of Dickens. Using testimony from key participants, newly discovered archival footage and dramatic re-creations (filmed in Rockland), Marsh portrays Nim’s extraordinary journey through human society and the unsettling truths it reveals about both Nim’s true nature and ours. Tickets will be available soon.

UK, 2011, 93 minutes, documentary, rated PG-13 for some strong language, thematic elements

“Brilliant. . .Marsh’s documentaries are inspired fusions of content and style, and here, the artistry intensifies the pain. . . .Nim opened a door, all right, but to the human, not animal, mind. And we’re some crazy species.” —David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“A tale so powerful and suggestive that it functions as a myth about the ever-mysterious relationship between human beings and animals.” —Dana Stevens, Slate

“An engrossing and enraging drama of one chimpanzee and his life’s journey across a landscape of human folly. . . .As a meditation on human kindness and cruelty, Project Nim gets richer as it goes, building a slow, incremental portrait of a species afflicted with blindness and blessed with occasional clarity.” —Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“Nim’s life turned out to be a flesh-and-blood Rorschach test that revealed as much about human nature as it did about the capabilities of chimpanzees.” —Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times