[This review is a re-post of the review I posted at Sundance.  I'm re-posting it because Project Nimopens in theaters today and it's one of the best films I've seen all year.]

What separates men from beasts?  What at first seems like an easy question yields no obvious answer in the captivating and fascinating documentary, Project Nim.  Nim was a chimpanzee who was ripped away from his mother in the early 1970s and put into an experiment to see if he could communicate with sign language provided if he was raised and treated like a human child.  What was already a tricky proposition became almost impossible when combined with the bizarre and dubious cast of characters who surrounded the young chimp.  Through magnificent use of re-enactments, interviews, and powerful archive footage, Project Nim is a film that not only has you turning over questions on the nature of humanity, but it also inspires laughter, shock, revulsion, and heartbreak in seeing how Nim swings between dangerous animal and lovable companion. Read More...


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