Cincinnati World cinema

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

    In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes. She was not just the first woman, but the first naturalist of any kind to visit Africa to study animals in the wild.

    In The Woman Who Loves Giraffes Anne (alert and active at 86) retraces her steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage, offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today.

    Additionally, this is a character study of a driven woman in an era when such a thing was looked at as an anomaly. In the film’s present-day interviews, Dagg herself is a lively presence – still feisty and still struck with emotion when remembering the denial of university tenure decades earlier because of her gender.

    Both the world’s first ‘giraffologist’, whose research became the foundation for scientists following in her footsteps, and the species she dearly loves, have each experienced triumphs as well as setbacks. The Woman Who Loves Giraffes gives us a moving perspective on both. Truly, a life well-lived! Learn more: Brief Biography

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes

Alison Reid, 2019, USA/South Africa/Canada
81 min, Documentary, Rated G
Rotten Tomatoes 100% Fresh + 100% Audience Rating
Online rental fee is $12 per household

“This warm documentary uses one woman’s singular passion to fuel a tale of zoological discovery, environmental alarm and blatant sexism.”
– Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“INSPIRING… Alison Reid’s sincere documentary offers gentle comfort even when it tackles tough subjects.”
– Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap

“Her research was groundbreaking, and the 16 millimeter color footage she shot at the time is breathtaking.”
– Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor

“Alison Reid’s documentary celebrates little-known giraffologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg’s groundbreaking scientific work and contributions to women’s equality.”
– Tomris Laffly, Variety

“An inspiring documentary that should top everyone’s list of must-see films.”
– The Alliance of Women Film Journalists

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