The astonishing life of Richard Leakey, paleoanthropologist, conservationist, statesman and provocateur, is illuminated in this new National Geographic film. It investigates four decades of exploration around Kenya’s Lake Turkana, which have given rise to both breakthroughs and controversy in the contentious field of human evolution. Bones of Turkana follows Richard, his wife, Meave, daughter Louise and the world-famous fossil-hunters of the Turkana Basin Institute on a recent dig along the shores of a mercurial lake. What emerges is both a portrait of a remarkable family and a dramatic tale of a place that, impacted by momentous climate change, has never ceased being the cauldron of human evolution. Candid conversations with Richard reveal a man who has struggled in search of truth and faced formidable challenges from political and academic realms, but ultimately prevailed in establishing a lasting legacy of paleo-exploration. The film is shot in the extraordinary light of the Great Rift Valley; music from celebrated Africa-phile Paul Simon combines with the voices of the Kenyan Boys Choir to create an ethereal soundtrack. Directed by John Heminway. Produced by Katie Carpenter, John Heminway and J.J. Kelley.

Bones of Turkana

2012 US 60 min
Festival Year: 2012
Types: Documentary
Topic: Global Perspectives, Sustainable Living