Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist

{4.5/5} “Digit really looks forward to the daily contacts as a source of entertainment. He often invites play by flopping over onto his back, waving his stumpy legs in the air, and looking at me smilingly as if to ask, ‘How can you resist me?'”

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist, aired in 2017

Dian Fossey studied mountain gorillas in Rwanda for 18 years. She had no training when she started but eventually earned her PhD. She was the first person to get close to gorillas, and to explain to people what they were really like. She also did everything she could to protect the species, and made some enemies doing that. Digit, her favourite gorilla, was killed by poachers in 1978. Fossey was murdered in 1985.

This is a 3-part National Geographic miniseries. Sigourney Weaver provides the voice of Dian Fossey (reading from Fossey’s notes).

There’s archival footage as well as new interviews with people who helped Fossey at Karisoke as well as David Attenborough and the former US Ambassador to Rwanda. They even interviewed a former prison guard whose identity had to be hidden.

It’s a bit repetitive across the episodes, but it’s worth watching. Some parts are disturbing.

There’s a particular focus on Fossey’s death. There was some suggestion that poachers killed her but there are also inconsistencies in that theory. The documentary presents evidence that Fossey had stumbled onto gold smugglers — people even more dangerous than poachers.

The story has a happy ending — the number of mountain gorillas has tripled since the 1980s, whereas at that time Fossey was worried they would die out.

Fossey is the author of Gorillas in the Mist, which was turned into a movie.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 at 7:12 pm and is filed under Reviews of TV shows. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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