Prime Mate - why Nim is this summer’s most unlikely heart-throb

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.

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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.”

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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

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