Saturday, April 28, 2012

Project Nim (2011)

Director: James Marsh. 93 min. Rated PG-13. UK/USA. Documentary.

A chimp is taken from her mother at birth, and raised among humans in a project to teach him sign language. No, this isn't a prequel to Planet of the Apes. It's an unsettling documentation of how we selfishly impose our theories about nature (or anything), and test them to reach the conclusions we want, without the slightest regard to emotions - including humans'. And when our theories fail, we easily ignore the damage we've caused and go on to the next test. Result: the chimp gradually evolves from a cute baby, to a vicious animal. Just because we could.

PS: Quite evident from the style that this is made by filmmakers of the 2008 documentary, Man on Wire. The remarkable fact is how some filmmakers can create the most engrossing documentaries out of the most seemingly bland and innocuous film footage.

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