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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fatal fascination, 25 Sept. 2012
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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