In 1973, behavioural psychologist Herbert Terrace attempted to challenge Noam Chomsky’s thesis that only humans can have language. This involved raising a baby chimpanzee - punningly named ‘Nim Chimpsky’ - in a human family, then rigorously teaching him sign language in a human-only environment. This documentary is the story of that chimp’s life.
Gripping, heart-wrenching, powerful and a sad indictment of scientific practice, which shows that ‘human’ and ‘humane’ are all-too-often mutually exclusive.
Reviewed by Dan Jolin
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