What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this engrossing, moving documentary about a groundbreaking study of animals and language has some intense material that may be too much for younger viewers. There are frank discussions about how a chimpanzee violently attacks his caretakers (some moments are dramatized, showing not the attacks themselves but the bloody aftermath) and references to drug use, even by the chimp. There's some swearing (including "f--k" and "s--t"), and participants talk about sexual relationships among colleagues, some of which don't end well. That said, teens and adults will be fascinated by both the scientific study at the heart of the movie and the politics and tensions behind it, and the movie is sure to spur discussion about animal rights and cruelty.
- Families can talk about the movie's messages about animal experimentation. Were the researchers right to do what they did? Should more questions be asked before a project is started? How did Project Nim influence future ethical dilemmas about animal experimentation?
- Did you learn something from watching this movie? Should that be the goal of a documentary?
- How are documentaries different from fictional movies? Do they effect change? If so, how?