50 Documentaries to See Before You Die

Project Nim (2011)

Director: James Marsh

Keep the handkerchiefs nearby for this one. From Man on Wire director James Marsh comes Project Nim emotionally wrenching examination of a chimpanzee named Nim that anchored a 1970s experiment designed to see if apes could co-exist with people on a human level. Early on, the film is quite funny, reveling in Nim's cuteness and genuine lovability. As Project Nim carries along, though, Marsh's real intent becomes rather clear: By trying to make an animal human, Nim's handlers erased their own humanity and, ultimately, led to the corruption and devastation of a kind-hearted creature. —MB

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