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Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees (2002)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 89 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 11 critic

A cinematic portrait of the great zoologist and the chimpanzees she has spent a lifetime studying.

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Title: Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees (2002)

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For close to forty years, the great zoologist, Jane Goodall, has studied the nature of the wild chimpanzees of Africa and has learned about these remarkable animals. This films explores the scientist's life and work with a major emphasize on the various chimps she has studied and grown to love. In her research, she has learned their complex societies, their remarkbable intelligence and their shared nature with humanity, both good and bad. In addition to her research, also learn about her fight to preserve the threatened animal populations and her determination to save them. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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7 May 2002 (Canada)  »

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Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees  »

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1.44 : 1
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Featured in The Hour: Episode #7.128 (2011) See more »

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Great documentary on Gombe
30 March 2003 | by (Utrecht, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I've seen this documentary first at an IMAX theatre and later on DVD. The reason to view it was due to the music of Johnny Clegg featuring in it. In my opinion, the best IMAX movies are those which show spectacular nature because that would be most impressive on a large IMAX screen. Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees is about chimps, not impressive natural phenomena, so my expectations where moderate. Thankfully, it was better then I expected, and not because the short arial shot of Africa, but due to the content of the story.

The emphasis of the documentary is clearly on Jane Goodall and the chimpanzees she studies: the documentary briefly tells what she discovered beside telling the story of her life. Despite the sad truth that only 150.000 chimpanzees remain in Africa today (against 1 to 2 million a century ago), the mood of the documentary remains positive and focuses on the human aspect (no pun intended). I appreciated that the documentary refrained from having too many emotional taglines, which seems to be common in American documentaries. I recall that the movie only became melodramatic (bweh) once; the other times it either remained with the facts or it was clearly an opinion of Jane which was portraited.

Comparing it to other IMAX documentaries I recently watched: it was better then "Greatest places", which has more great (IMAX like) footage but has no storyline, but not as good as "Dolphins". I think the music (songs) and score (background music), which beautifully blend together, are better in this documentary, but I may be biased.

As for the DVD, it's not the same as seeing in an IMAX theatre, and despite that the source has such a high quality, I personally did not see that much of a difference between this and DVD made with regular cameras. However, the many bonus features on this DVD, like the behind-the-scenes, trailers, making of the music, commentaries (both from Jane Goodall and the director) make it a great addition to the movie.


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