A docudrama that centers on amateur grizzly bear expert Timothy Treadwell. He periodically journeyed to Alaska to study and live with the bears. He was killed, along with his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, by a rogue bear in October 2003. The films explores Treadwell's compassionate life as he found solace among these endangered animals.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
During a BBC interview about the film, Werner Herzog was shot with an air rifle. The interview was resumed indoors and at the end Herzog was encouraged to check his wound. Though there was "a bruise the size of a snooker ball, with a hole in it." Herzog declared "It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid." See more »
Werner Herzog describes Timothy Treadwell's last tape, while telling his friend never to listen to it, as always being "a White Elephant in the room". "White Elephant" is a different figure of speech from "Elephant in the room". "White Elephant" means an extravagant but useless project; "Elephant in the room" means something unspoken that is nevertheless obvious. See more »
I'm out in the prime cut of big green. Behind me is Ed and Rowdy, members of an up-and-coming sub-adult gang. They're challenging everything, including me. Goes with the territory. If I show weakness, if I retreat, I may be hurt, I may be killed. I must hold my own if I'm gonna stay within this land. For once there is weakness they will exploit it, they will take me out, they will decapitate me, they will chop me into bits and pieces. I'm dead. But so far, I persevere. Persevere.
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The DVD from Lions Gate Home Entertainment opens with a disclaimer stating that the film has been changed from its theatrical version. The sole change is in the first ten minutes where Herzog explains that Treadwell had become a semi-celebrity. In the theatrical version a clip is shown of Treadwell on CBS' "Late Show with David Letterman." Treadwell comes out and explains what he has been doing and Letterman quips, "We're not going to open a newspaper one day and read about you being eaten by a bear are we?" In the DVD version this exchange is omitted and replaced with a NBC news segment of Treadwell being interviewed. When the interviewer asks if he would ever want a gun to protect himself, Treadwell states that he "would never, ever kill a bear even in the defense of my own life." See more »
by McDill (as Bob McDill)
Performed by Don Edwards
Courtesy of Universal-Polygram Int. Publ., Inc.
On behalf of itself and Ranger Bob Music (ASCAP), Warner Bros. Records, Inc. by arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing See more »
Loved Herzog, but could not sympathize with Treadwell
***Possible Spoilers*** "Grizzly Man" is a documentary of Tim Treadwell who spends 13 summers in Alaska living amongst grizzly bears and eventually loses his life to the creatures to which he devoted all his heart.
I saw "Grizzly Man" without knowing anything about it. I first thought it would be a documentary about the beauty and behavior of grizzly bears. However, through Tim Treadwell's interaction with grizzly bears, Werner Herzog shows that this film is actually about the inadequacies and insecurities of human nature.
Tim Treadwell seems to be the culmination of many of the deficiencies that man possesses. I felt absolutely no sympathy for this individual, despite the fact that he suffered a tragic and horrible death. If it weren't bears that killed him, it probably would've been something else. He was definitely headed toward a downward spiral. I felt like he was a man who ran away from his demons because he could not face or overcome it. He developed high "ideals" and when he could not adjust his values and beliefs to that of society, he abandoned it and sought out for acceptance from creatures that are incapable of judging or criticizing Treadwell. Unfortunately, Treadwell mistakes the grizzly bears' indifference or incompetence as a sign of acceptance, and falls in love with them.
Treadwell displayed behavior suggestive of manic depressive disorder, or cyclothymic disorder, or histrionic personality disorder. His emotional reactions to incidents were over dramatic to the point that one questions whether it's genuine. I also thought that he was a closet homosexual who could not accept his sexual orientation. In the film, Treadwell talks about wishing he were gay because it would be easier, but he denies being gay. He also talks about how he has trouble with keeping relationships with girls. I know this is a big assumption, but I couldn't help but question whether he was running away from civilization hoping he didn't have to face the reality of his sexual orientation. Treadwell is a person who does not know himself, and is afraid to find out.
I also did not like the fact that Treadwell was on this unsubstantiated high horse. This self-proclaimed protector of animals and nature displays his hypocrisy in at least 2 scenes. When Treadwell stumbles upon poachers who throw rocks at a baby cub, all he does is hide behind a bush and criticizes the hunters for hurting the bear. Not quite what a "protector" would do. Also, when Treadwell discovers the dead fox, he gets angry for the destruction and death that exists in this world. However, he doesn't blink twice to try to swap a fly that is buzzing around the fox. Obviously he shows no respect for the fly, which is also a living organism.
Also, throughout the film, most of Treadwell's friends glorify all that he represented. It seems that his death has elevated him to a martyr, and I found that inappropriate. I don't believe one's achievements in life should be overblown and exaggerated because he or she suffered a tragic and violent death. Based on Treadwell's self-recordings, I find that he has done nothing to deserve any praise. The way he died is sad, but that should not have any bearing on what he did in life. If anything, Treadwell encroached upon the grizzly bears' territory, and abused their independence and way of life in order to hide behind the mask of his own demons. I find nothing altruistic about his actions because of that.
In the film, Herzog says that death and destruction is a unavoidable reality of nature, and he has done a brilliant job in portraying that. My take home message was that everything bad in this world exists because man is too weak and feeble-minded to transcend beyond our natural tendencies to destroy his surroundings and to self-destruct. And Treadwell is the perfect example. Great job Mr. Herzog.
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