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Film / Project Nim

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A 2011 documentary film by James Marsh (Director of the film Man on Wire) that tells the story of Nim Chimpsky, a chimpanzee Raised by Humans in the 1970s as part of an experiment to see if Nim could learn to communicate and act like a human child if treated like a human child.


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  • Bittersweet Ending: The project is concluded to not be successful in teaching Nim true langauge, though Nim does learn 125 different signs.
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  • Named After Somebody Famous: Nim Chimpsky is a play on the name of famous MIT linguist Noam Chomsky.
  • Raised by Humans: the premise of the documentary is do this to a chimpanzee and see if it can develop language like a human.
  • Reality Ensues: A Chimpanzee is much bigger and stronger than an average human, and even if raised like a human and with humans, is still a fundamentally different animal. That some of the research assistants got hurt is unsurprising in this light.
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