Project Nim: we are the real chumps in this chimp’s story

Jeremy Kay in The Guardian:

ScreenHunter_01 Feb. 10 11.36 “They fuck you up, your mum and dad,” Hull's most celebrated librarian-poet Philip Larkin once wrote, and the sentiment behind that bilious opening bark from This Be the Verse will not be lost on viewers of Project Nim. It's probably a sentiment that would raise a wry, bushy eyebrow from Nim himself, the chimpanzee subject of Academy Award-winning James Marsh's absorbing return to the Sundance film festival.

Everyone knows chimps are smart, but what the British film-maker's follow-up to his 2008 Sundance hit and Oscar winner Man on Wire reveals is more interesting. Project Nim, one of several opening night films that kicked off the festival yesterday, spans 26 years and recounts the story of the titular primate as he is plucked from his mother in infancy and thrust into a succession of experiments that range from the pseudo-scientific to something altogether more unsettling.

More here.