Goodall talks about film premiereNEW YORK - Jane Goodall began her groundbreaking research into chimpanzees over 50 years ago in Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, leaving an indelible imprint on the way humans view animals.
Yesterday, the 77-year-old UN Messenger of Peace was featured in an event in 500 U.S. movie theaters. The one-night “Jane Goodall Live!” featured the U.S. premiere of the documentary “Jane’s Journey,” about her life, with appearances by Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron.
Reuters spoke to the anthropologist about the event and what people can do to keep the planet healthy.
Q. What will audiences discover on “Jane’s Journey”?
A. The film was long in the making by German independent filmmaker Lorenz Knauer, and it’s been running in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain and other European countries for several months. The audience response is similar to the response I receive at my lectures, as they leave teary-eyed, saying, “What can we do?” We haven’t been doing enough to help the planet. The message of let’s wake up and take care of this planet, we’ve been stealing from our children before it’s too late, is the message I hope that audiences will embrace.
High-profile celebrities are helping to get your message out. How does it feel to have a whole new generation of people becoming familiar with your work?
I find it really necessary. I wouldn’t mind if they weren’t familiar with my work, per se. The important thing is to understand that every one of us makes a difference, every day, and we can live with a lighter ecological footprint.
If chimps could talk, what would they tell humans?
They would probably tell us to leave them alone, get out of the forest and protect the forest. That’s probably what they would tell us to do.
So what can one person do to make a difference?
Each person can just spend a little bit of time each day thinking about the consequences of what you buy, what you eat, what you wear and how you interact with people. If millions of people think about the consequences, they start to change and then we achieve the kind of change we must see on this planet.