Review of Jane’s Journey By Lorenz Knauer, Germany

Jane Goodall might be very famous in the West, but in Abu Dhabi “Jane who?” is the most common answer you get when inviting anyone to attend Lorenz Knauer’s film about the British activist. That’s why screening Jane’s Journey at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival is particularly important.

The film follows the life of Goodall, her transformation from a chimpanzee expert to environmental, human and animal rights activist, and her landmark achievements in these fields. Jane’s Journey is beautifully shot, with great humour and such amazing sound recording that you almost feel the animals sitting right next to you. All the typical documentary film elements are there: old photos, home video footages, testimonies of family and friends.

The film, however, doesn’t delve into Goodall’s personality. Instead, it represents a well-polished, almost idealistic image of the United Nations Messenger of Peace. It’s probably best described as a curriculum vitae of her achievements, with a very well-done cover letter and great references. This might not be very interesting for western audiences already familiar with Goodall’s projects, but for a distant audience like that of the Middle East, this film is an entertaining, informative and efficient account of a great activist’s journey.

This review was published in Nisimazine Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi film festival’s daily bulletin by NISI MASA.

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