I highly recommend Project Nim, the documentary about the life and times of the chimpanzee Nim who was raised as a baby in a human home and taught sign language.
There are a lot of strange moments in the film but perhaps none stranger than this: Stephanie LaFarge, Nim’s adopted mother who breast-fed him as a baby, is eager to reasure us that as Nim grew older and more interested in sex:
I never felt sexually engaged with him. There was a sensuality but Nim was a pre-teen.
Do think about that for a moment.
Nim is later taken from her but she sees him once again when she is now a much older woman. She describes her first thoughts and reactions:
He wasn’t particulary attracted to me now that he was an adult chimpanzee. I wasn’t beautiful or anything like that.
He wasn’t particularly attractive to me now that he was an adult chimpanzee. I didn’t have a, “Oh, isn’t he beautiful,” or anything like that.
Project Nim is from director James Marsh who also made the great Man on Wire.
Addendum: Lots of great comments in this post. See especially Belle Ball who knew Nim and who corrected my quotation.