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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Surreal
Please note that this is not a wildlife documentary! The documentary is really about Timothy Treadwell, it uses parts of Timothy's own amazing footage to track his deteriorating mental state leading up to his death. Treadwell was a lover of Grizzly bears and dedicated his life to 'protecting' them, trying to understand and become one of them. Werner Herzog paints a...
Published on 16 July 2010

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poignantly raw and tragically compelling
Timothy Treadwell, a man who lived for thirteen summers alongside grizzly bears in the Alaskan Wilderness, is the focus of Werner Herzog's 'Grizzly Man'. Selecting the most poignant of Treadwell's video footage, it captures a chaotic and dangerous world of grizzly bears that amplifies survival and killer instinct in the natural world.

Alongside the grizzly's is...
Published on 8 May 2006 by olenka101


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and Surreal, 16 July 2010
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Please note that this is not a wildlife documentary! The documentary is really about Timothy Treadwell, it uses parts of Timothy's own amazing footage to track his deteriorating mental state leading up to his death. Treadwell was a lover of Grizzly bears and dedicated his life to 'protecting' them, trying to understand and become one of them. Werner Herzog paints a portrait of an extraordinary man who has retreated from human society and found peace in the animal world- for 13 summers he lives closely with the Grizzly bears, and when I say 'close' I mean CLOSE! Some of the footage is awe-inspiring and Treadwell manages to capture many staggering images of these incredible animals. What is really intriguing however is Treadwell himself- we come to realise that he had many problems in his own life, he was unable to cope with human society, his life and his emotional problems; this his has led to his extreme obsession with Bears and living amongst animals. He is like the Michael Jackson of the animal world, frolicking around speaking to the animals, personalising them and making friends with many beautiful creatures- there is a peculiar innocence about his attitude but it is inevitable that is naivety and delusion would lead to serious danger.

Over time, he believed he was trusted by the bears, who would allow him to approach them, and sometimes even touch them. Treadwell was repeatedly warned by park officials that his interaction with the bears was unsafe to both him and to the bears. "At best, he's misguided," Deb Liggett, superintendent at Katmai and Lake Clark national parks, told the Anchorage Daily News in 2001. "At worst, he's dangerous. If Timothy models unsafe behavior, that ultimately puts bears and other visitors at risk." Treadwell filmed his exploits, and used the films to raise public awareness of the problems faced by bears in North America. In 2003, at the end of his 13th visit, he and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were attacked, killed, and partially eaten by a bear; the events which led to the attack are unknown.

As Grizzly Bear works towards its conclusion it becomes increasingly disturbing- Timothy's seems to descend more and more into insanity and reckless abandon, he seems ready to die and unfortunately in the end he got what he was asking for, such a shame he took his girlfriend with him. Descriptions of the aftermath made feel pretty queasy... This is an unusual documentary- you could easily convince someone it is a black comedy fiction because some of the people in it are truly bizzare characters; Timothy's friends and some people Herzog gets to speak are rather strange (especially the coroner). To conclude; this is a story about a disturbed man who descends into insanity, a Michael Jackson like character but his affinity is with Bears not children. In the end he was deluded but he lived an incredible life and had an unbelievable connection with animals- he made some friends out there, we see him walk with bears who follow him as companions and he befriends foxes, it is really worth watching; surreal and fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fateful, 6 Jan 2007
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I've just watched Werner Herzog's film Grizzly Man. It's about Timothy Treadwell, an American who retreats to the wilds of Alaska each summer to live with and protect the grizzly bears. Treadwell thought that he could live as a bear, and he was vitriolic about humans and civilisation. It seems to me that he was so emotionally attached to the animals that he didn't have any rationality left when it came to being aware of the risk to himself. He often talked about understanding how the bears behaved, and that if other people had come to Alaska, those people would have been killed.

He normally only stayed there during the summer, but one time when trying to travel back home, he was refused entry onto the plane, so he returned to the wilds again, this time even more hateful of people. Most of the bears he'd come to know had gone into hibernation, and as storms began to build on the coast, starving, more aggressive bears from further inland appeared in search of food, and in the end Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed by one of them.

The film is made up of Treadwell's videos of himself, and his commentaries. Herzog also interviews friends and family, and there's one strong moment where Herzog listens to the recording of Treadwell at the moment of his death, and it's very powerful, more so that the viewer doesn't get to hear it, instead we have to imagine it from descriptions of the recording. At times when watching the footage, you feel that Treadwell is creating a fiction rather than recording fact - he records many takes of himself talking to camera as he tries to perfect it, and he often talks about himself being alone, however on a few occasions he'd been accompanied but he creates a persona of himself as a lone protector of the animals. He also talks about the bears protecting him; from other people but also I think from himself. His history had been self-destructive and he'd had a few knock-backs in life, that he must have felt that by being such on edge with the bears he couldn't afford to let his guard down.

I often wondered who Treadwell was recording the videos for - did he intend them to be seen by a mass audience or were they for himself? I get the feeling that he was aware of his potential fate living in such dangerous proximity to these animals, and that he was shooting the videos to be a reminder of his life.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grizzly, 7 Mar 2006
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Werner Herzog is noted for making films that include 'animals doing unusual things' and 'long, extended landscape shots' (IMDB). Grizzly Man fulfills both criteria, but more unusual than the behaviour of the bears that feature in this brilliant documentary, is that of film's protagonist - Timothy Treadwell - an authentic American outsider who spent 13 long summers in a remote Alaskan wilderness documenting these wild creatures. It's an examination of this obsessive, eccentric and ultimately deluded man, who is misguided into the belief that he is able to 'make friends' with some of nature's most fearsome predators.

What makes this film especially interesting is the way Werner Herzog pieces it together as a kind of poem to man's relationship with nature, intercutting Treadwell's own - often inspirational - wildlife footage, his on-camera soliluquies, and interviews with family, friends and contemporaries. What catches the eye the most is the footage of Treadwell himself, ranging from his amusing wildlife 'presentations' to egomaniacal rants against the park authorities, poachers and other visitors to his remote hideaway.

What becomes apparent, and is expertly pieced together by Herzog, is that while Treadwell is selflessly committed to what he sees as the preservation of the bears, he may well be doing them as much harm as good, and he has faslely seen in them a mutual affinity that ultimately costs him and his girlfriend their lives. Is Treadwell's obsession with the bears embelmatic of his more problematic relationship with human society? What is it that he is escaping from? As Herzog himself points out in monologue, there are moments in Treadwell's films that are 'pure cinema'. What makes this film great is that he allows these moments to breath, while building up a sensitive but unromanticised portrait of a troubled soul. Along with 'Etre et Avoir' and 'Capturing the Friedmans' - one of the greats in the current renaissance of the documentary film.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing film, 9 Dec 2009
By 
LXIX (scotland) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not the sort of person who normally watches any wildlife shows and when a David Attenborough programme comes on I usually switch channel; however, don't be put off as Grizzly Man is an astonishing movie. I would describe it as a cross between a documentary and a reality TV show.

The film is all about an eccentric American who spent 13 summers living among grizzly bears in a remote part of Alaska. We're not talking teddy bears here (although he did have one of those with him) - instead we're talking the real deal here - i.e. Mother Nature's equivalent of the furry tank ... and with fangs and claws to match. Perhaps we should be surprised that he lasted so long with them before finally being mauled to death by a bear who wasn't normally in his social circle and who happened to be passing through at a later point in the season. Note that this isn't a spoiler as we're told at the very beginning that the grizzly man was killed on location. His girlfriend was also killed with him (as was the suspect bear when a search party went looking for them - only to find them decapitated and their remains fitting into 4 bags).

Grizzly Man is a psychological movie. It explores the motives of a man who preferred the company of bears and foxes to people. The callousness of nature is also writ large here and of particular interest are the interviews e.g. with the protagonist's friends and family, scientific bear experts, the guy who found their remains and even a mortuary worker.

This film is 1 hour 43 minutes of surrealism. At times you forget that 2 people were savagely mauled by a wild beast but it is also very thought-provoking. Some of the nature scenes are superb - for example, the wrestle during the mating season and the shock factor of the proximity of just how close the grizzly man regularly came into direct contact with the wild bears.

One thing's for sure. This is a very untypical movie and you won't look at a teddy bear the same way after seeing it.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grizzly man at odds with the world, 1 May 2006
By 
J. Andrews "slick by nature" (Exeter, Devon) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I not really one for writing reviews but I am absolutely compelled to give some of my thoughts about this particular film. From start to finish Grizzly Man comes across as utterly bizarre and breathtaking whilst demanding your complete focus; there really is nothing to compare it to, it isn't simply a wildlife documentary or a biography, but an assault on our capacity for emotion and compassion.

It does become apparent that Treadwell is indeed quite a naive man who applies an all to simplistic and romantic outlook towards his beloved subject (and, one could say, life in general); but this is what makes this film so great. I really believe it has the ability to stir the soul of even the stoniest character. I found myself at times disappointed that Treadwell betrayed the way I wanted his character to behave and the sensibilities I believed he held, but ultimately found his outlook refreshing and intriguing and certainly valid in a world of scrutiny and scepticism. This is a film about big brutal wild creatures who don't operate in the human world, but even more so it is a film about human society and its limitations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humans are the wildest animals..., 14 Dec 2006
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
What a strange, arresting film! At first it bemused me that Herzog should give a platform to Treadwell's cloying narcissism and naivety. Watching Treadwell acting out his self-image as a kind of latter-day Dr Dolittle among the long-suffering bears and foxes was almost too painful to watch in its delusional intensity. But if you forget about the documentary/wildlife aspect and put the film alongside others in Herzog's oeuvre, the film takes shape as another examination of the director's interest in obsession, madness and redemption. Here, Treadwell emerges as a kind of everyman who, despite his follies and inadequacies, sometimes achieves his own kind of beauty and transcendence, not least in his amateur film-making which Herzog explores superbly. I don't think Treadwell did much to help the cause of the bears or of environmentalism, but through Herzog he's taught us a little about what it is to be human. The feature on the soundtrack is well worth watching too, and not just to see Richard Thompson in action - it also helps explain Herzog's intentions in making the film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fatal fascination, 25 Sep 2012
By 
L. Power "nlp trainer" (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
Shortly after watching this movie for the third time I watched online segments from Animal Planet called fatal attraction telling the stories of 10 people who had a fatal attraction for dangerous creatures.

Often it's a moment of carelessness that results in death. People killed by bites from pet bushmasters or mambas or cobras or attcked by Chimpanzees. They trip or fall or are momentarily distracted. Some survivors test their reaction by refusing to take antivenom to see if they have developed immunity to snakebite.

Sometimes these people are thrillseekers, and sometimes there is an arrogance in thinking they are somehow invulnerable to the obvious outcome or there may even be a lofty vanity about thinking they are somehow protecting dangerous threatened creatures from bad people. I mention this because of the parallels with this movie.

I notice when I discuss this movie with people I get a varied response because it's open to many interpretations.

I remember discussing it with one woman who said she found that guy so annoying that she could hardly wait for the bear to eat him. Most interpetations are somewhat more sympathetic than this.

Self appointed conservationist Timothy Treadwell spent 13 summers in the Alaskan wilderness among the grizzly bears until finally he and his girlfriend were attacked in their camp and killed and eaten by a bear.

During his thirteen summers he recorded over 100 hours hours of video footage then passed along to director Werner Herzog to turn into a documentary.

If you're like me as you begin to watch the movie you will be amazed by these specacular grizzlies and the wilderness they inhabit and you may also start to wonder about the sanity of Treadwell. You will also be in awe of some of the footage especially with the foxes. I have never personally faced a bear but when I see a bear appoach Treadwell I start to feel nervous about what will happen.

So you can feel that danger at the very beginning.

Treadwell though is quite a memorable character even if he is deluded about these bears which lets face it are aggressive instinctual creatures.

There are a series of memorable characters who make brief appearances and share their insights.

One is a helicopter pilot who has a very unsympathetic attitude towards Treadwell though he has sympathy for the girl Amy whose death was an unnecessary and unfortunate tragedy. Sometimes people who work in Coroners office or who deal with death can have necrophiliac tendencies. They find death can be erotic.

So the coroner in this case seems a little excited by the lurid tale of examining the bodies, and his account of the audio of their last minutes.

You may discover great irony within this movie as Treadwell films a bear called Olie who may very well be the bear that ate him and describes how he had a confrontation with this bear. 'Is Tim Treadwell going down Olie's gullet?' He actually says that.

I loved for example Treadwell's rant against the park rangers which you can watch on youtube. I particularly loved his interaction and friendship with the beautiful foxes.

I think it's clear that Treadwell did have some skill in surviving so long with the bears. Unfortunately with creatures like this who sometimes even eat their own young it's impossible to forge a human animal bond, the type he did forge with the foxes.

Treadwell claimed to be protecting bears. But from what? Maybe there is poaching, but the population is also culled annually by 6% according to a park ranger. So what difference did Treadwell make? His life may not have made much difference to the life of the grizzly bear but his death certainly has made a difference to our awareness.

It's a tragedy that ideally would not happen and was perfectly foreseeable, yet it has yielded what I consider to be a remarkable movie which I have recommended to numerous people. I think you most people will love it and I hope this was helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, 12 Jan 2010
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a documentary, pieced together from footage taken by Timothy Treadwell, the 'grizzly man' and narrated by the director Herzog. It starts off going in one direction, but then takes an unexpected turn worthy of any thriller. It's a fascinating study of one man's obsession which gradually begins to take over his life. Don't be put off by the fact that this is a documentary, it's one of the best movies - in any genre - that you will come across.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging documentary about a troubled/troubling 'ecologist', 18 Mar 2014
By 
Paul Allaer (Cincinnati) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
I am a big fan of Werner Herzog's documentary work, including "Into the Abyss", "Cave of Forgotten Dreams", "Happy People: A Year in the Taiga" and "Encounters at the End of the World". I may not always agree with his viewpoint, but he never fails to bring an engaging documentary. Somehow I had never seen what is perhaps his best known documentary, "Grizzly Man". I finally corrected that oversight recently.

"Grizzly Man" (2005 release; 103 min.) brings the story of Timothy Treadwell, the self-proclaimed "protector" of grizzly bears in the Alaska Peninsula. The movie opens with footage from Treadwell in Alaska, proclaiming his love and loyalty and respect for the bears. Then we learn that after spending 13 summers in a row, Treadwell and his girlfriend were killed by a bear in 2003. Herzog's documentary can be divided up into two parts: a look at the immediate circumstances of their deaths, and a broader look at the life ot Treadwell, including a selection of the ample amounts (over 100 hours, we are told) of footage he shot during his stays in Alaska. As to the immediate circumstances of their deaths: it is incredible difficult to sit through that, for obvious reasons. The attack of the bear was recorded on audio but not video, but thankfully we do not hear the audio. Beware: there are some gruesome/shocking pictures of those events shown in the documentary. As to Treadwell's life and his visits to Alaska,: it turns out he is a very troubled, and troubling, individual, almost delusional really. He talks about his respect for the bears and other animals, "loves" them the way I love my cat, except that of course bears and wild foxes are not pets. Even stranger are his repeated claims how he is "protecting" the bears, but not once do we see him actually DO something, other than hanging around. Most telling are the comments from the locals, including the Alaskan natives: "Tim crossed a line that we haven't crossed in 7,000 years. By showing up in their midst, he disrespected the grizzlies." Another comments: "Tim got what he deserved, he basically asked for it". Wow. Of course, the true tragedy is that his girlfriend, who didn't care much for the bears in the first place, was pulled into this tragedy, paying with her life. So sad.

"Grizzly Man" is an outstanding documentary, on so many levels. Even though it is hard to feel "bad" for Treadwell, given the overall circumstances, it nevertheless is a human story that should be seen, and who better to bring it than Werner Herzog. It's is yet another must-see documentary from the legendary German director. I'll go see any documentary he makes. "Grizzly Man" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping viewing, 17 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] (DVD)
We had a lot of discussion after watching this film about whether it was a modern freak show or a touching and human portrayal of a person who seemed to feel whole only when in the company of wild animals. Whatever the film is It is unfailingly engrossing and moving. My own view is that Herzog brings a level of humanity and empathy to the portrayals of the outsider in his films which we can lose living our narrow and stressed modern lives. Herzog's film shows the Grizzly Man as ridiculous and truly odd yet admirable in living his life on his own terms and losing his life due to that. I was left with very mixed feelings indeed, but that is the mark of a great documentary. Very highly recommended.
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Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD]
Grizzly Man [2005] [DVD] by Werner Herzog (DVD - 2006)
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