Jane Goodall shines in lost footage

Director Brett Morgen had no interest in doing a film on Jane Goodall, but once he saw a treasure trove of never-before-seen footage of the primatologist from the National Geographic archives he told himself, “you cannot not do this film.” Morgen joined “Salon Talks” to discuss the end product, a documentary called “Jane,” currently available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Hulu, that captures the wonder of the over 55-year study Goodall conducted on wild chimpanzees, which revolutionized our understanding of animals and humans alike.

My goal is to try to show Gombe through Jane’s eyes,” Morgen told SalonTV. “And for Jane, it’s magic.” Indeed, the images of Gombe Stream National Park reveal lush jungle, beguiling chimpanzees and a gorgeous Goodall. “The camera really did love Jane,” Morgen continued. And he means it literally, because the photographer filming her was Hugo van Lawick, who would soon become her husband. “You are literally watching two people fall in love through the lens,” Morgen said.

Watch the video above to hear more about how Morgen pieced together the archival footage cinematically and what inspired Goodall’s lifelong work with chimpanzees. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

More From This Week on SalonTV