Project Nim

I thoroughly enjoyed the “Project Nim” film. It was a documentary unlike any I have ever seen. It was centered on a research project that’s basis was to determine whether primates specifically the main character, a chimpanzee named Nim Chimpsky, could communicate with humans. The particular language they honed in on was “sign language” because animals cannot form the sounds of words like people can. I enjoyed how the documentary was both scientific and in regards to the people who played roles in the research, personal. Having glimpses of the personal conflicts, opinions and relationships of the people who directly affected Nim helped to convey and explain the path Nim’s life took. For example the selfish and publicity-hunger of Herbert, the lead psycholinguist, was made obvious by his own personal testimony as he admitted he realized the project had gotten out of hand and made completely clear by the retelling of people such as Stephane LeFarge, Nim’s first human “mom” as she remarked how Herbert used his authority to make rash decisions without any regard from the rest of the research group. Because Herbert was the way he was, Nim was nothing but a means to an end to him, and it makes the viewer wonder if Herbert even cared as much about Nim as not just an animal, research subject but as a soul like the others on the research did. I have never seen a documentary that was so transparent with what happened besides the actual science. That is quite important because all science incorporates human footprints, intervention in some way, since people are the ones conducting the science. So the people matter just as much as the facts and numbers. Everything plays its own important part in the entire process. Project Nim documentary was also wonderful depiction of a real world intersection of morality and responsibility, which made it all the better. Overall it was great. It was a scientific documentary that was both emotional and informational. I would defiantly watch it again.

One thought on “Project Nim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s