REVIEW: Jane Goodall: The Hope
A couple of weeks ago, I ran across the documentary film Jane on Disney+. I thought it was a wonderful documentary on the life of primatologist and environmentalist Jane Goodall. So, I found it surprising when Disney announced it would be releasing a new documentary called Jane Goodall: The Hope throughout its National Geographic networks as well as making it available for streaming on Disney+ and Hulu. I wondered if there was really a need for a new one.
Well, let me tell you, there is. Whereas the first film Jane is about Jane Goodall's life among the chimpanzees in Gombe, Tanzania in Africa during the 1960s, Jane Goodall: The Hope is more about what she's done since and currently doing. As the "Mother Teresa of the Environment," Goodall, at age 85, is still going strong speaking out for the environment and the protection of the chimpanzees.
This is absolutely the right documentary to have been released on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. She is an absolutely fascinating figure. She does not believe in limiting herself in the people she talks to about protecting the chimpanzees if it will get the job done. She befriended former Secretary of State James Baker, an avid hunter and fisherman, because he cared about the environment and wanted to help her. She works with an oil company in the Congo to create a wild life reserve to rescue chimpanzees held in awful conditions. And, she works to educate labs on the effects of using chimpanzees as subjects. People often criticized her for making friends with the enemies, but she is always of the mindset of it's rather to do something good than to do nothing and watch the chimpanzees suffer. She is all about communication.
She also believe youth are the future and the Jane Goodall Institute has set up a youth program called Roots and Shoots which has chapters in almost 100 countries. In Tanzania, young women are taught they can do more than just be wives and mothers. One of the women even said she wanted to be president of Tanzania one day. It was quite remarkable.
There's a point where it gets a little sad as several of the people she has worked with talk about how she won't be able to keep up at her pace. At one point, she even contemplates her own death. But, thankfully, we don't have to think about that for now. Honestly, to watch her running around and so active is amazing to me as somebody 30 years her junior. I don't think I could move around half as much as she can.
Everyone should know about Jane Goodall and her work as she will inspire you. It is wonderful that Disney has made this documentary so readily available on Earth Day and it's a fantastic way to celebrate such a monumental year.