Seeing Jane Goodall speak years ago in Portland was one the best speeches I’ve witnessed. Viewing this movie really brought that back into the front of my memory and had me tearing up during the first third of this documentary. What Jane Goodall did is nothing short of miraculous. As a young woman with no formal education in this area of study, she really gave no fucks and pursued her dream. Her determination to succeed in spite of the odds became a passion even before she realized her true purpose in Gombe.
I’m not one to have idols but if I did she would be one. So goddamn inspiring in so many ways.
This doc is essentially rediscovered found footage from 2014 that was shot during the 60s when Goodall first went to Africa to study the chimps and what that was like and how challenging it was. So from this “lost” footage the filmmakers had to construct a narrative, which becomes the story of Goodall’s life from childhood to present day, including her marriage to Hugo and raising her son around apes. Half of this film works extremely well. The other half is typical biography filler to round out her story. The average rating between these two parts is 8/10. I’d prefer to watch more of her time with the chimps, what was learned from this experience and how she was able to share that with the world.