Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
Until Jane Goodall came along, field studies of the life-cycles of major primates and mammals were a rare thing. Arrogant biologists somehow imagined that they understood all there was to know about these beings from their captive behaviors. This lavishly filmed documentary, sponsored by the National Geographic Society, draws upon her research into the behavior of a tribe of chimpanzees (and features many of those followed in her research) to show the character of their community over a period of twenty years. The story's main "characters" include Flo, the clan matriarch, and Fifi, whose ascension from "girlhood" to become the clan matriarch is shown. Obviously, this carefully crafted film took a very long time to create and features a fine script by Nancy LeBrun and is narrated by Britain's Helen Mirren.