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Jane’s Journey (DVD Review)

20 Dec, 2011 By: Ashley Ratcliff

Street 12/27/11
First Run
Box Office $0.02 million
$27.95 DVD
Not rated.

In watching Jane’s Journey, I’m convinced that Dr. Jane Goodall was a gift sent from God to make this world a better place.

At 77 years young, Goodall remains tireless in her efforts to educate others about the world’s condition, as she travels 300 days out of the year speaking about what we can do about such problems as deforestation and climate change. And people around the world are ready to listen.

Goodall, perhaps, is most known for her extensive study of chimpanzees in the Gombe Stream National Park of Tanzania. When she immersed herself in the forest, she uncovered some groundbreaking truths about the chimps that essentially revolutionized the way scientists viewed these creatures: They use tools in their everyday lives and have distinct personalities.

Developing a profound connection with these animals, Goodall returns to Gombe, what she calls her “spiritual home,” two times a year. It’s wild to see her resting among the chimpanzees with such grace and peace.

Jane’s Journey gets into the lesser-known details about Goodall’s life. For example, her love of primates (which eventually became her life’s mission) all began when her father gave her, at one-and-a-half-years old, a stuffed chimp toy named Jubilee.

The home video footage is key in painting a picture of Goodall as we’ve never before seen her. Most touching is seeing her play with her infant son, Hugo Eric Louis van Lawick, whom she affectionately calls “Grub,” and the interactions with her first love — her first husband, Hugo.

A riveting documentary ideal for any animal lover or tree hugger, Jane’s Journey is an eye-opener and a reminder that every day that we live, we have the power to impact the world. Goodall has lived her life based on that noble principle.

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