“A sense of calm came over me. I found myself thinking ‘This is where I belong. This is what I came into this world to do.'”

The most surprising thing about Jane’s Journey is how much it revolves around family. It was pleasant to learn that Jane’s mother accompanied her on that first trip to Africa so long ago, and her son was born and lived his childhood among natives that most of us could never imagine. So many things aligned themselves in a particular way that let Jane end up doing what she does.

Jane’s Journey is more than merely helping chimpanzees survive threats to their existence, though a noble cause to be sure. I learned so much about Mrs. Goodall this documentary lends itself easily to recommendation. It’s the story of not just one woman’s life, but the things she cares about, the people she’s touched, and the legacy she’ll leave behind.

Presented in standard definition 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, Jane’s Journey is quite cinematic in nature. Even though there’s evidence of film grain, the visuals are strikingly beautiful. Some of my favorite moments are from Jane with her family and her early days in Gombe. The addition of family movies, though noticeably more degraded than the rest of the feature, lend a feeling of connectedness. The Dolby 5.1 surround mix is more than adequate, and the supplementary 2.0 stereo will suffice if that’s all your system can afford.

Bonus features include an in-depth interview with Angelina Jolie (who has known Jane for a very long time), a short feature on Jane’s youth project Roots & Shoots, and a filmmaker bio.

If you’re even the least bit into conservationism, chimpanzees, or Jane Goodall herself, Jane’s Journey is a no-brainer. It’s far from the standard recollection of facts one usually associates with biographical documentaries. The sheer number of exotic places we are afforded glimpses into, and the vast number of people Jane has connected with, makes it easy to stay captivated from start to finish.


Not guilty.

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