Using a trove of never-before-seen footage, the film tells the story of Jane's early explorations and research in Tanzania, focusing on her groundbreaking field work, her relationship with her cameraman and husband Hugo Van Lawick, and the chimpanzees that were the subject of her study.Written by
It was probably mostly frustrating because they kept running away. And while chimpanzees are running away from you, you can't really get down to the details of their behavior and in the back of my mind it was always the fear if I don't find out something exciting, the money will run out cause all my earlier observations were either chimps close up running away or sitting on the peak or some other spot and watching them through binoculars.
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"Jane" is a pretty good doco; indeed, among the best I have seen. Unlike many nowadays, including some other National Geographic product, it maintains a high standard in all respects. This includes its overall construction, the near-impeccable score, the absence of hysterical and breathless dialogue and commentary, and most of all, the editing and fine mixing of archival and new moving and still imagery. The story, of course, stands on its own two feet.
So I have no quibbles. Any complaints about some fuzzy pictures ignore such realities as the quality of films made in difficult circumstances with the equipment of the day decades ago, even by professionals, and the few home movie clips which this production employs judiciously. Critics of fairly frequent footage of Goodall carrying and using binoculars, and staring into the jungled distance are a humorous reminder of my eight visits to Africa. I found many tourists (especially but not exclusively American) with such a low attention span that they complain if they don't see an amazing critter around every bush and have no patience for searching. I don't mind "Jane" reminding us that binoculars are among the most used and more important tools of wildlife watchers and photographers. Goodall's need for binoculars sits side by side with her discovery that chimpanzees, just like humans, make and use tools.
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