Project Nim (film)
|Directed by||James Marsh|
|Produced by||Simon Chinn|
|Based on||Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human|
by Elizabeth Hess
|Starring||Bob Angelini |
|Music by||Dickon Hinchliffe|
|Edited by||Jinx Godfrey|
|Distributed by||Icon Film Distribution|
Project Nim is a 2011 British documentary film. It focuses on Project Nim, a research project that was mounted in the 1970s to determine whether a primate raised in close contact with humans could develop a limited "language" based on American Sign Language. The project was centred on a chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky.
The film was first publicly shown during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, and then released for public exhibition on 8 July 2011.
In 2019, Herbert S. Terrace, who led the research on Nim, published the book Why Chimpanzees Can’t Learn Language and Only Humans Can. There, he explained how he perceived the documentary Project Nim as "mainly an ad hominem attack" on himself. Terrace stated that the allegation that he had returned Nim to the primate colony as punishment for his failing to learn sign language is untrue. Besides, Terrace criticised how the documentary represented a "complete failure to present the scientific background of the work" done and "its theoretical significance."
Reception and awards
- Kappala-Ramsamy, Gemma. "Nim Chimpsky: the chimp they tried to turn into a human". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- Terrace, Herbert S. (2019). Why Chimpanzees Can't Learn Language and Only Humans Can. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-55001-7.
- "Project Nim (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- Tønnessen, Morten; Armstrong Oma, Kristin; Rattasepp, Silver (2016). Thinking about Animals in the Age of the Anthropocene. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 230.