Join us for a free screening of "The Woman Who Loves Giraffes" to celebrate Dr. Anne Innis Dagg's recent honorary doctorate from the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Science. Dr. Innis Dagg and writer/director Alison Reid will be at the event and will entertain an audience Q&A after the screening.
The Woman Who Loves Giraffes (83 min.)
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, 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 behaviour 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.
In The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, an older (now 85), wiser Anne takes us on her first expedition back to Africa to retrace where her trail-blazing journey began more than half a century ago. By retracing her original steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage, Anne 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. Both the world’s first ‘giraffologist’, whose research findings ultimately became the foundation for many scientists following in her footsteps, and the species she loves have each experienced triumphs as well as nasty battle scars. The Woman Who Loves Giraffes gives us a moving perspective on both.
The Woman Who Loves Giraffes is the story of Canadian biologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg, written and directed by Alison Reid (The Baby Formula), produced by Joanne Jackson (The Messenger, The Big Wait, Long Haul Big Hearts) and Alison Reid, and executive produced by Paul Zimic (Grass 2, Never Enough). The documentary features the voices of Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Victor Garber (Argo, Milk, Titanic), David Chinchilla (The Expanse) and Lindsay Leese (Bomb Girls) reading letters written by young Anne, Fleur de Lys manager, Alex Matthew, Anne’s husband, Ian Dagg, and Anne’s mother, Mary Quayle Innis. The film was shot between 2013 and 2018 on location in Brookfield Zoo, Chicago; Ontario, Canada; Samburu National Reserve, Kenya; Fleur de Lys, South Africa; and Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch, San Antonio, Texas. The Woman Who Loves Giraffes incorporates vintage 16mm archival footage from 1956-57 which was filmed by Anne Dagg herself, and, when she is in frame, Alex Matthew.
The Woman Who Loves Giraffes
Waterloo Science Outreach provides programs and enrichment activities to increase awareness of the importance and value of Science to society. It also stands to highlight the contributions that Waterloo Science makes to scientific understanding. We are passionate about making science and research an accessible and comprehensible topic for all interested audiences. Through events and public lectures, we provide numerous ways for you to engage in a lifelong discovery of science.