The Woman Who Loves Giraffes
Panorama | Vancity Theatre Screening
In1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, in fact, before anyone, man or woman had made such a trip, 23-year old Canadian biologist, Anne Innis Dagg, made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to become the first person in the world to study animal behavior in the wild on that continent. When she returned home a year later armed with ground-breaking research, the insurmountable barriers she faced as a female scientist proved much harder to overcome.
In 1972, having published 20 research papers as an assistant professor of zoology at University of Guelph, the Dean of the university denied her tenure. She couldn’t apply to the University of Waterloo because the Dean there told Anne that he would never give tenure to a married woman. This was the catalyst that transformed Anne into a feminist activist. For three decades, Anne Innis Dagg was absent from the giraffe world until 2010 when she was sought out by giraffologists and not just brought back to into the fold, but finally celebrated for her work.
"Alison Reid deserves high praise for fine storytelling, combining ecology and social-justice issues while focusing on a woman ahead of her times, whose ambitions were thwarted by institutional sexism." Bruce DeMara, Toronto Star
"Reid’s terrific doc is a must-see: a biography of one of Canada’s greatest scientists, woman or man." Marc Glassman, POV magazine
Skype Q&A with Dir. Alison Reid - Friday Jan 25, 3:00PM Screening.