Monday, December 19, 2011

Me Hug Nim

Project Nim (2011) - Marsh
In the 70s, a group of vain scientists took a baby chimp from an Oklahoma animal ranch to NY. The project was to see if apes are capable of learning higher form of communication (sign language). So starts the tragic tale of Nim, a chimp who was plucked off from his mother and went through series of human surrogates only to be abandoned and discarded when project proved unfruitful and ran out of money. The doc, equipped with tons of materials (home movies, lab documentations, interviews with many involved), highlights the human arrogance and cruelty like no other. Nim is obviously a sentient being and also a wild animal. While not making a villain out of just one person, Marsh reflects on how we tend to treat animals in general. It's a heartbreaking doc and one of the year's best.