The miracle of life, starting from a single cell, is closely observed like you’ve never seen it before under self- taught solo filmmaker Jan van Ijken’s microscope. Van Ijken’s stop-motion camerawork, razor-sharp editing and sound design that amplifies the inaudible turn Biology 101 into something mesmerizing, profound, and stunningly beautiful.
Our National Mammal
Congress named the bison the “American National Mammal” in 2016. But if wild bison migrate outside the protection of Yellowstone National Park, they are managed less as an iconic symbol of the American spirit and more like a pest, largely because they allegedly infect domestic cattle with brucellosis. Produced by the Buffalo Field Campaign, Our National Mammal reports on the conflict over bison management in Montana. “People are too scared to let wild things be wild,” laments one activist.
In 1957, Dr. Louis Leakey applied for a grant to study chimps in Gombe, Tanzania. For his field researcher, he chose his 26-year-old assistant, Jane Goodall, a shy British woman with no formal training or experience. What she did have, though, was a healthy obsession with wildlife and endless stores of patience. Over the next several months, Goodall hiked into the rugged hills each day in search of the chimps until slowly, they began to accept her. And that marked the beginning of a ground-breaking project that provided humans with an entirely new understanding of chimpanzee behavior, life cycles and patterns. This film, which was made with over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage, documents Goodall’s extraordinary life, from animal loving child to wild and solitary bush woman to wife, mother and pioneer of research. Through it all, one thing never wavered: her affection, devotion and endless fascination with the chimps.