Film Review: Jane

Whilst humans might be the alpha when it comes to the animal kingdom, there’s still so much we don’t know about our fellow mammals. Indeed, we seem Hellbent on wiping many of them out, one way or another. The most famous face of animal conservation is arguably Jane Goodall. The work she’s done on primates has been ground-breaking and she continues to campaign every day for their protection. Jane, the new documentary from Brett Morgen (Cobain: Montage of Heck, The Kid Stays in the Picture), is a beautiful insight into her journey.

Passionate about animals since childhood and with dreams of going to Africa, Jane Goodall found herself working as a secretary in Kenya at the age of 26. With no formal university education, she seemed an unlikely candidate for Louis Leakey to pick to study Chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park. Her love of animals, patience and an almost childlike enthusiasm were all she needed to set her on a path which would change her life and scientific understanding for ever.

Brett Morgen was presented with one hundred hours of uncategorised film, covering fifty years, by National Geographic. With the assistance of a stirring soundtrack from Philip Glass, he has produced an absolutely fascinating and enchanting portrait of the early life of Jane Goodall. It paints a touching picture of a person who has dedicated her life to studying and protecting primates. Jane feels almost magical at times and makes your heart yearn for Africa. It’s one of the best documentaries of a year and a must for anyone with a love of animals, nature or discovery.

Jane is out in cinemas from 24 November.

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