'The Woman Who Loves Giraffes' - Movie Review

Anne Innis Dagg has led a very interesting life - with a small added bonus for those of us in Toronto because of her (and her family's) association with the city. Before she hit ten years old, she'd fallen in love with Giraffes at the zoo ... and unlike most of us, she followed through on that career choice. In 1956, with a newly minted degree in Biology from the University of Toronto, she got on a ship to South Africa alone, to research her favourite animals. That would sound a bit unsafe in 2021 (when I'm writing): imagine how it sounded in 1956. She stayed there for about a year, and in the process wrote what became essentially the Giraffe bible - because there were no books about the animal at the time.

While this is probably the thing she'll be remembered for most, the rest of her life has been fascinating: having returned to Canada and the university, she couldn't get tenured despite her stellar publishing history. So she went to war with academia over their blatant sexism. And much more besides. I think my favourite moment - mildly reminiscent of "Searching for Sugarman," with her playing the part of the thought-to-have-vanished hero - was her welcome into the Giraffe research community in her later years.

A great story about one hell of a life.