Renowned Conservationist Jane Goodall Visits Arizona Science Center for Documentary Debut

M.V. MoorheadJune 3, 2023
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For many of us, it would be hard to find a more alluring title than that of the new IMAX movie at Arizona Science Center: Reasons for Hope. This is especially true considering the person offering the reasons: Dr. Jane Goodall.

Directed by David Lickley, the 45-minute film features the globetrotting Goodall presenting four different success stories from the world of environmental activism and conservation. As an example of Reason One, the hope she derives from young people, she starts with a project, executed by youthful volunteers, to revive the lakes in Sudbury, Ontario, poisoned by acid rain from the nickel mining industry; it features lovely footage of the loons that have returned, now that they’re able to find fish again.

Reason Two is the “indomitable spirit” she sees in activists working against seemingly insurmountable odds. She shows us a program to reintroduce buffalo herds to the Blackfeet Nation in Montana, long absent from the region. She’s here in Arizona for Reason Three; the ingenuity and creativity of the human intellect, introducing us to ASU’s Dr. Klaus Lackner, inventor of the “Mechanical Tree” said to be capable of processing the same amount of carbon dioxide as one thousand actual trees.

The fourth and most cinematically spectacular segment, which Goodall says combines all the previous reasons, is set in Austria, where scientists are attempting to reintroduce the endangered northern bald ibis. We’re given a vertigo-inducing ride as the young birds are trained, by ultralights, in their migratory route south over the dizzying crags of the Alps and into Italy. We also see Goodall herself strap into one of the tiny aircraft for a ride.

Goodall and director Lickley were in the Valley Friday to promote the film, which opens this weekend; (opening weekend only admission is free to people named “Jane.”). Of her ride in the “microlight,” which she cited as her favorite part of making the film, Lickley added that Goodall is perhaps “the most active senior in the world. Maybe Biden’s a little more active.”

“Biden’s a lot younger than me,” Goodall said dismissively (she’s 89).

Asked if, in her long career, there’s anything she regrets not having done:

“The things I’d like to do, I can’t do now, so there’s no point. Like climbing mountains in Papua New Guinea.” She shrugged. “Nothing I feel I wouldn’t be complete without.”

Asked if she would do one of her chimpanzee hoots, she obliges as readily as Carol Burnett doing her Tarzan yell, then translates:

“Me Jane.”

So, presumably, she could get into her movie free this weekend.

Reasons for Hope opens at Arizona Science Center on Saturday, June 3 and will have five daily showtimes through September 1. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.