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British Chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall is the subject of this American documentary which includes footage of her early research in Gombe, Tanzania in the 1950s and 1960s plus current interviews and narration made specifically for this film.
The highest praise must go to the film footage preservationists who have maintained perfect prints of the colourful adventures in what was very high risk in unknown territory six decades ago. The superb footage is enhanced with Goodall's clear narration and a pleasurable score by Philip Glass.
The first half is thrilling as it includes very surprising information of how Goodall was chosen for this mission especially regarding her background. The second half is still engaging but it has less novelty than the beginning. It still provides a lot of fascinating history though, including Goodall's personal life and the evolution of the chimp community with which she bonds.
As the film evolves, it is easy to see that Goodall's patience must have been one of the reasons she was selected for the task. Even when the animals stay close to her, she knows to avoid touching them until the right moment.
An unfulfilled curiosity is the lives and personalities of local Tanzanians who assist the mission. But the star attraction and the fabulous footage make this viewing worthwhile. What is most amazing is how Jane Goodall looks really very similar to how she did sixty years ago despite the inevitable effects of aging. Waiter, I'll have what she's having.
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