2017 | 90 minutes | Rated PG
Based on recovered footage of iconic primatologist Jane Goodall during her groundbreaking chimpanzee research in 1960s Tanzania, Jane unfolds in a traditional National Geographic documentary format: beautiful nature footage paired with reserved British voiceover (provided by Goodall herself). Anyone with a passing interest in Goodall’s writings about the social relationships of chimpanzees will be delighted by the dramatic film clips of chimps stealing bananas from her camp set to an energetic score by Philip Glass. Mixed-in moments of Goodall’s perfectly-lit beauty seem out of place with her professional reflections until the film reveals this recovered footage was shot by Hugo van Lawick, a gifted wildlife photographer and, in time, Goodall’s first husband. The authentic relatability to both these love stories—van Lawick falling for Goodall and Goodall discovering her life’s work—pushes Jane beyond the confines of a nature film into the territory of being a pretty ideal date movie.
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