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Five reasons to watch Jane

Five reasons to watch Jane

This BAFTA-nominated exploration of the life of chimp expert Jane Goodall is a truly unmissable documentary


What do Amelia Earhart, Marie Curie and Jane Goodall have in common? They are all women who challenged the male status quo and were pioneers in their chosen fields

Jane, Monday 12 March, 9pm, National Geographic/HD (CH 266/268). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > National Geographic

A world-renowned British conservationist and primatologist, Jane Goodall’s chimpanzee research revolutionised our understanding of the natural world. She is being celebrated this week in a critically acclaimed documentary. 

Here are five reasons to tune into Jane and witness her amazing work…

1. It includes never-before-seen footage

Over 100 hours of National Geographic archive footage were drawn on. Goodall has already been the focus of more than 40 films, but it’s this special access to the archives that makes this one really stand out. The makers of Jane spent months repairing the sound on the footage and restoring the original colour.


2. The director makes fantastic documentaries

Brett Morgen’s credits include the outstanding Cobain: Montage Of Heck, about the life and times of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and The Kid Stays In The Picture – producer Robert Evans’ autobiographical film. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 2000 in the Best Documentary category for On The Ropes – an intimate portrayal of three boxers and their coach.


3. You get to know the woman behind the chimpanzees

Did you know, for example, that Dr Jane Goodall was just 26 when she first travelled to Tanzania to begin 50 years of groundbreaking study? Or that she’s the first person who discovered that chimps aren’t vegetarian and, like humans, use tools? Or that she was criticised for giving her research subjects names instead of numbers?

Not only does Jane give us amazing insight into Dr (and Dame!) Goodall’s trailblazing work, it also covers her personal life – her courtship, marriage to, and divorce from photographer and Dutch nobleman Hugo van Lawick. He was originally employed by National Geographic to capture Goodall’s work, and in doing so captured his intensifying love for his future wife.


4. It’s already award-winning

Jane won the top honour – the Best Documentary award – at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. It’s also BAFTA-nominated.


5. Legendary composer Philip Glass provides the score

The awesome soundtrack comes from an awe-inspiring source. Glass has been nominated for three Oscars, and he has provided music for the likes of Notes On A Scandal, The Hours and The Truman Show.


Want more? Discover ten other incredible, inspiring stories about women with our movies for International Women's Day.


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Image credits: Jane © National Geographic / Hugo van Lawick