Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


Chimps are people too

In the tragic doc ”Project Nim” (2011, PG-13, 1 hr., 33 mins.), we discover the perils of a 1970s experiment to teach an ape how to be more human

Posted on

Behaviorists love a good pun.
At birth, the chimpanzee star of the film was named Nim Chimpsky, a jab at linguist-philosopher Noam Chomsky.

A woman can breast-feed a chimp.
One of Nim’s human caretakers admits that she nursed the newborn animal for months. ”It was the ’70s,” her daughter says as explanation.

Chimps monkey around.
Some primates go for harder stuff than breast milk. Thanks to his hippie handlers, Nim developed a weakness for beer and wacky tobacky.

Unlike some humans, chimps can admit when they’re wrong.
After brutally and bloodily attacking one of his minders, Nim used sign language to say, ”I’m sorry.”