JANE follows the life and work of animal behaviorist Jane Goodall as she spends years of her life dedicated to studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, Africa. It uses re-discovered footage from the 1960s to tell Goodall’s story. Without a degree in the field, Jane spends months trying to get within observational distance of the chimps. Her work was documented by a National Geographic videographer named Hugo, who she soon married. Eventually, Jane’s work with the chimpanzees would make enormous waves in the scientific community.
JANE contends that Jane Goodall’s determination, hard work and passion led to her success. It takes viewers on a first-hand look into her work with chimpanzees. The footage from her early work is very interesting. However, the movie is dominated by a humanist worldview that promotes evolution and stresses the similarities between humans and chimpanzees. At one point, Jane says she has a “spiritual” connection to nature. JANE contains a few violent situations among the chimps and monkeys mating. Ultimately, JANE promotes a false view of science that’s philosophically unacceptable to those who know anything about real science.
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong humanist, evolutionary worldview in this movie focusing on the tendencies and similarities between humans and chimpanzees, Jane Goodall goes to Africa to study the behavior and to “help us understand how our Stone Age ancestors behaved,” comments by scientists made such as “we must redefine man, or label chimps as human,” but there’s also some pagan elements where Goodall speaks about how she feels a “spiritual” connection with nature, and the movie has a Romantic tone where Goodall follows her personal dreams of investigating animals in the wild, although there is admittedly a heroic quality to her life of scientific exploration.
No foul language .
Light violence in movie solely pertains to nature and the food chain and includes lions attack a wildebeest, other animals feast on a zebra, sometimes the chimps become very excited and violent toward each other.
Some sexual content includes depiction of monkeys mating and discussion of the mating habits of chimps, and monkeys are shown mating.
Naturalistic nudity because men in footage from Africa rarely wear shirts, and a child is shown completely nude during his infant years, and, when the child grows a bit to be about 6, his rear is shown as he goes into the water to swim.
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
Light smoking as Jane Goodall’s husband smokes cigars and cigarettes.
Some miscellaneous content as both parents put their careers above each other and their family and eventually chose to divorce.
JANE is a documentary showing lots of never before seen footage of animal behaviorist Jane Goodall’s adventures studying chimpanzees in the 1960s.
Jane wanted nothing more her entire life other than to go live with and study animals and nature all over the world. Without the means to get a proper education that she always wanted, she went to school and received a secretarial degree and began working for a scientist named Dr. Louis Leakey and his wife in Kenya, Africa. After working with Dr. Leakey and expressing her desire and passion to work with animals in Africa, he decided she was the best person for the assignment of living in Gombe, Tanzania and studying the lives of the chimpanzees. Jane returned to London to save up her money as Dr. Leakey searched elsewhere for funding.
Accompanied by her mother, Jane finally was able to make her way to Tanzania and begin her studies with the chimpanzees. Months and months pass as she makes the same climb every day to sit with and observe the chimpanzees in the forest. It takes a while for the animals to become accustomed to Jane being in their home, and they are easily spooked by her presence. Jane is soon accompanied by a videographer from National Geographic named Hugo, who was sent to document her studies. They soon become very fond of each other as they share such a common interest and later end up getting married.
JANE follows the life and studies of the renowned Jane Goodall as she records her groundbreaking scientific studies. It takes viewers on a fascinating, first-hand look into a world that has never been seen before quite so fully. From the very beginning of her journey to her enormous success later, Jane’s personal story is extremely inspiring, especially because she relies solely on her own drive and self-purpose to continue, overcoming many roadblocks and obstacles along the way. Looking back, Jane recalls how she never really feared the many dangers in the jungle wilderness, because it is where she felt she truly belonged. This documentary shows what an incredibly determined woman Jane was and how she never let the idea of quitting ever become an option. At the time that they were making these discoveries, the parts of Africa that they were exploring had yet to be tainted by human beings. This made it an unreal experience, especially one to be documented on film. The early footage, forgotten for decades, shows viewers some of the amazing work with primates Jane Goodall did in Africa when she started with her studies.
That said, JANE contains a lot of discussion about alleged correlations between monkeys and humans. Thus, it overtly contains an overarching humanist worldview promoting evolution. Magazines and newspapers that were published surrounding the work of Jane Goodall make statements like: “chimps are downright human,” and “we must redefine man or label chimps as human.” At one point, however, Jane talks about having a spiritual connection to nature and the animals she studies. Other questionable elements in JANE include some depiction of monkeys mating, references to Jane’s divorce with Hugo, and minor examples of animal violence. The biggest problem, though, that makes JANE ultimately unacceptable is its humanist promotion of evolution concepts. In reality, of course, any proven similarities between humans and some monkeys or primates (or some other animals) can be attributed to their common designer, the God of the Bible, not to some blind process. For example, humans have legs and animals have legs, and fish have fins that are vaguely similar to legs, but that doesn’t mean people “evolved from fish or animals. Furthermore, human beings are vastly different from animals and fish (including primates) because they are made in the image of God and share a rational spirit or soul with their Divine Creator. Leaving God out of the business of scientific or biological exploration of animals in the wild is a grave error that seriously taints such explorations.
Ultimately, JANE promotes a false view of science that’s unacceptable to media-wise viewers, especially those who know anything about real science and the various intellectual and scientific problems with theories about evolution.
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