Bob Angelini, Bern Cohen, Reagan Leonard
“It was the seventies,” a woman says, laughing, in this much-buzzed Sundance documentary. Yes, the 1970s, when rearing a chimpanzee and teaching it sign language on Manhattan’s Upper West Side passed almost without comment. Even though huge advancements in interspecies communication were made in the time spent with adorable “Nim Chimpsky,” not everything went smoothly. Cameras were there to capture it all, and assembling the footage is Oscar-winning British director James Marsh, the man behind the ghostly 2008 Twin Towers tightrope doc Man on Wire. He has an unerring talent for choosing poetic subjects. This is the smart, real-life pick of the summer.