Gorillas in the Mist – The Story of Dian Fossey

The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey's work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes].

With:
Sigourney Weaver Bryan Brown Julie Harris John Omirah Miluwi Iain Cuthbertson Constantin Alexandrov

The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes].

Fossey devoted nearly 20 years to observing, and trying to protect, the gorillas who live in a small area in the Virunga mountain range, which extends into Rwanda, where Fossey established her Karisoke Research Center. Thanks to National Geographic and films made by Bob Campbell, her work became internationally known, but she alienated a number of people, and was murdered in 1985. (Although her research assistant was convicted in absentia, many feel guilt lies elsewhere.)

After a while, just as Fossey began making unprecedented physical contact with these imposing animals, Sigourney Weaver seems to establish an exceptional familiarity and rapport with the jungle inhabitants. The intense bond makes the later scenes relating to the gorilla slaughter by poachers all the more powerful.

Campbell, played by Bryan Brown, turns up unannounced to photograph her activities and, after initial resistance, Fossey not only welcomes his presence but takes the married man as her lover.

Weaver is utterly believable and riveting in the role. Her scenes with the apes are captivating. Brown lends a nice lilt to his sympathetic interloper. Lensed high in the mountains of Rwanda, the production looks impressive.

1988: Nominations: Best Actress (Sigourney Weaver), Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Original Score, Sound

Gorillas in the Mist - The Story of Dian Fossey

Production: Universal/Warner. Director Michael Apted; Producer Arnold Glimcher, Terence Clegg; Screenplay Anna Hamilton Phelan; Camera John Seale; Editor Stuart Baird; Music Maurice Jarre; Art Director John Graysmark

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1988. Running time: 129 MIN.

With: Sigourney Weaver Bryan Brown Julie Harris John Omirah Miluwi Iain Cuthbertson Constantin Alexandrov

More Film

  • Durban Fest ‘Springs’ for Emerging Filmmakers

    Durban Fest ‘Springs’ for Emerging Filmmakers

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

  • South Africa's Jenna Bass on Race,

    South Africa's Jenna Bass Explores Race, Class and Gender in 'High Fantasy'

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

  • (L to R) Young Rosie (ALEXA

    'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,' 'The Equalizer 2' Eye Debuts Above Forecasts

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

  • Durban 2018 Panel on Sexual Harrasment

    For Black Women in South African Film Biz, Equality Still a Struggle

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

  • 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham, Other Webspinners

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

  • Venom Comic-Con

    'Venom' Creators Promise 'Huge World,' Tease Spider-Man Fight

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

  • Bully

    Film News Roundup: Danny Trejo's Dark Comedy 'Bully' Scores Distribution

    The life story of the late anthropologist Dian Fossey posed considerable challenges to the filmmakers tackling it, and they have been met in admirable fashion in Gorillas in the Mist [from a screen story by Anna Hamilton Phelan and Tab Murphy, based on Fossey’s work and an article by Harold T.P. Hayes]. Fossey devoted nearly […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content