Picks and Pans Review: Chimps: So Like Us

updated 05/14/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/14/1990 AT 01:00 AM EDT

HBO (Wed., May 9, 8 P.M. ET)


Jane Goodall (see p. 93), who has spent 30 years studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, narrates this simple, affecting documentary about man's closest relative. The primates' similarity to us is a curse: They are used extensively for medical research. The footage of them in lab cages and trussed up on operating tables is horrific—especially after watching them in the wild, grooming each other and bonding with their children. These scenes are nearly as unforgettable as Dian Fossey's gorilla special for National Geographic in 1981.

Seeing the dignified Goodall shrieking madly as she gives a chimp call and tenderly caring for an injured male, you get a clear sense of the enormous dedication and love she brings to her life's work.

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