Jane (2017); National Geographic Documentary

Jane Goodall – who doesn’t love her? You love her, you will love “Jane – National Geographic.”

This film was made using over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage of Jane Goodall shot in Gombe by Hugo van Lawick in the 1960s. That footage was believed lost until its rediscovery in 2014.

In 1957, Dr Louis Leakey applied for a grant to embark on a 6-month study of chimpanzees in the wild.

He believed that the study might lead to new insights about the behaviour of early man.

Suspicious of prevailing attitudes in the scientific community, Leakey sought a researcher who could go into the field with a mind unbiases by scientific theory.

Impressed by her lifelong passion for animals, Leakey selected his 26-year-old British secretary, Jane Goodall, for the mission. She had no training or scientific degree.

Prior to the Gombe expedition, virtually nothing was known about chimpanzees in the wild.


She has paved the way for so many people, so many girls and women, who have dreams of being more than they’ve been told they can be.

This post was originally posted in 2017 from Small World, Big Cause. Written by Rebecca Hansell and edited in 2021 for The Curious Environmentalist,  fresh and fine, and ready for you to enjoy 🙂

Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall
Jane (2017); National Geographic

This is the captivating beginning to a documentary that will excite and delight anyone who is lucky enough to watch it.

Naturally, Jane Goodall is a huge inspiration to me, so to see how her life unfolded and the incredible work that she has done throughout her life is a wonderful way to spend a few hours of an evening.

The story that unfolds is one that is almost like a fairy-tale. The story of a girl with no scientific qualifications who not only broke through to become one of the scientific leaders of our time but also broke the glass ceiling and made a name for herself in a male dominated industry.

jane goodall

She has paved the way for so many people, so many girls and women, who have dreams of being more than they’ve been told they can be.

This story is narrated and punctuated by an older Jane Goodall, who is being interviewed about her life and what she has learnt along the way. It’s a pleasure to see the spark of desire still in the eyes of this lady who has a lived a life that so many aspire towards.

By seeing this once lost footage, we get to view inside the world that Jane Goodall was exploring and how she approached it with a child-like sense of wonder, naming the chimps things such as David Greybeard, Goliath, Mr McGregor, Flo and Fee-Fee. I believe that this approach of respect and admiration is what allowed her to be accepted by these animals and to learn so much about them. Observations that have not only taught us more about their species but also about our own species as well.

– We Love Jane Goodall –

Alongside the tale of her fantastic career is the story of her relationship with photographer Hugo van Lawick and her attempt to raise a family alongside her adventures. This is truly fascinating. In a world where women are told they must choose a career or a family, it is eye opening to see how this family make it work in the most unlikely and challenging circumstances – showing how, when it comes to family life, there is no such thing as normal. Yes, there was compromise and not everything was smooth sailing but together they still lived an incredible everyday life.

It’s wonderful to watch as the love of animals in the heart of a young girl turns into a woman’s fiery passion to save the biodiversity of the planet and to fight for the chimpanzees. Her determination and her belief have allowed her to become a life-long advocate for chimpanzees and inspire a new generation of conservationists to continue the fight into the future.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




Work With Me