I was very fortunate to be able to attend the special fundraising event An Evening with Jane last night at the Centre for Performing Arts. Part of the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).
Overall yes; she’s an incredible woman, not only for having dedicated her life to studying chimpanzees in the wild.
Everyone has heard of Jane Goodall although some still tend to confuse her with Dian Fossey (as did a flight attendant who recently made a big fuss but when she learns that Fossey died in 1985 will feel pretty foolish). Goodall recounts the story with humor and points out the importance of laughter. You can’t help but like her as she discussed her life’s work which is groundbreaking in scope and has revolutionized our understanding of nature and humanity, as well as her hopes for the future. She’s funny too.
She takes no fees for appearing in person, preferring to raise funds and donate all monies to promote the understanding and protection of chimpanzees and other great apes, along with their habitats. This special charity event helped raise funds for the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada.
Her story is an otherworldly one considering she went to the wilds of Africa as a young woman and with no training whatsoever. She had this dream as a child. She lived her dream.
In the documentary preceding the sit-down discussion we find out more than we ever knew about this incredibly selfless human.
In 1960, at the age of 26 and with little academic training, Jane Goodall set off into the forests of what is now Tanzania to study the relatively unexamined life of the chimpanzee. Her discoveries led to a lifelong fascination with our primate kin, and she went on to transform the world’s view of them.
During the filming of this feature, Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen unearthed 16mm footage shot by Hugo van Lawick in the 1960s. It is this gorgeous archival material–plus the energetic presence of Goodall herself–which elevates Morgen’s portrait to the highest level of biographical documentary. The film delivers a powerful and uplifting portrayal of Goodall, a supremely intelligent woman who has transformed our relationship to the animals more like humans than any other creature–and is still, as an octogenarian, fighting the good fight on behalf of ecologists everywhere.
She’s a name dropper too… letting us in on a little secret that Leonardo DiCaprio will be making a feature about her life.
This story is on-going…
Donations can be made at: janegoodall.ca/ways-to-give