National Geographic is giving us a new look at one of the world’s most beloved academics. “JANE,” a documentary from director Brett Morgen (“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”), tells the story of Jane Goodall’s research and connection with chimpanzees alongside glimpses into her life with first husband Hugo van Lawick and their child, Hugo Jr. See the official poster below.
According to a press release, “”JANE” is the story of how Jane Goodall became Jane Goodall.” After watching the trailer, I heartily agree (and maybe wish I became an anthropologist instead of a writer). Scored by composer Philip Glass, Morgen uses over 100 hours of previously unseen footage from Goodall’s earliest trips to Tanzania’s Combe Stream National Park to study chimpanzees. Her work was groundbreaking during the 1960s, at a time when anthropologists knew next to nothing about primates in their natural environments. The footage, filmed by future husband Lawick, is intercut with interviews with modern day Goodall, in order to provide a vivid portrait of Goodall’s formative years in the academic world.
Morgen, who also wrote the documentary, is known for detailed and critically acclaimed work in the documentary genre. He’s been behind some of the biggest documentaries of the new millennium, including “Cobain: Montage of Heck,” “Chicago 10,” and “The Kid Stays in the Picture.” “JANE” is already gaining attention from film critics, snagging a nomination for the Grierson Award at the London Film Festival and a nomination for Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival. “JANE” was also an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the 55th New York Film Festival (NYFF55).
“JANE” comes to select theaters Oct. 20. Watch the trailer below, and check out some stills from the film below.
Will you be watching “JANE”? How did you first learn about Jane Goodall’s work? Let us know in the comments below!