If you’re tired of seeing the same smooth-talking, straight-walking lotharios stealing the hearts of Hollywood, look no further than the latest documentary film from the team behind Man on Wire. This reverse-Jungle-Book tale is the story of Project Nim, a 1970s language experiment that sees a baby chimp learning enough sign language to construct more meaningful sentences than most bus-stop hooligans.
Constructed from previously unseen archive footage and talking heads, director James Marsh paints the life story of Nim and the many humans that encountered him. We caught up with life-long friend of Nim’s (and unsung hero of the film) Bob Ingersoll. “Its like I’m giving away the most personal part of my life. I represent for the chimps. How cool is that? (laughs). Not only is it a great thing to help the chimps, but I like the film.”
The movie's real surprise however, is the sheer amount of women that are seen clawing for Nim’ affection. “It was like leaving a bad boyfriend”, Renee Falitz (one of his ‘teachers’) declares in the film after retiring from the project. Nim’s ape-antics prove to be the best example of peacocking since Neil Strauss first shared the craft. So to find that summer fling - put the razor away, keep up the five-a-day and adopt a cheeky grin. Nim swings into screens 12 August.
Words by Mike South