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Signing Chimpanzees

1 Apr

What happens when a bunch of 70s scientists take a baby chimp, give it to a human family and attempt to bring it up essentially as human? This is basically the story of James Marsh’s documentary film Project Nim. If you haven’t seen it, then I wholeheartedly recommend it. The chimp, named Nim Chimpsky, was to be the centre of a study to find out if chimps could acquire human sign language.  The film follows what happened to Nim as he was passed through a succession of mother figures to a rather tragic end. One of the things I liked most about the movie was the apparent honesty of the interviewees in their appraisal of what happened and their own roles in it all. It also raises some ethical questions about our relationship with other species and responsibility. I won’t ruin it by saying any more but it’s definitely one I’d recommend. Stick it on your DVD list!!!!!!

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Film – Darwin’s Nightmare

25 Feb

I enjoy a good documentary film and Darwin’s Nightmare, directed by Hubert Sauper, is IMMENSE.

It basically explores the dark side of the Nile Perch fishing industry turning up some rather unpalatable consequences for the local communities and internationally.

I don’t like film reviews so I’m not really going to do one. What I will say is that it is extremely haunting. It is pieced together in a very compelling way and, without being dramatic, is incredibly dramatic ( this is why I don’t do reviews).  If you can, watch it and then perhaps reflect on the unsavoury effects of world economics, which is what I have been doing!!

Maybe when you have watched it, you might also like to read this.