Ask anyone to name a female pioneer who studied wild species in their natural habitat in Africa and you’ll get Jane Goodall
. But in 1956, four years before primatologist Goodall’s rightfully celebrated work with the chimpanzees started, there was the 23-year-old Canadian Dr. Anne Innis Dagg
and her research of giraffes. Despite being the first woman to set off on a solitary expedition to observe animal behavior, the zoologist never received proper popular praise for her efforts. With her bighearted documentary “The Woman Who Loves Giraffes,” director Alison Reid
aims to correct this error, honoring an ahead-of-her-time scientist who defied the patriarchal conventions of the 1950s and stood up to various forms of sexism since then.
Blending stunning original 16mm footage captured during the researcher’s year in South Africa; lively talking heads interviews with various familial, academic, and conservationist figures; and loving letters exchanged between young Innis (read