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on 5 July 2016
This is a fascinating character study of Timothy Treadwell who had difficulties in 'treading well' among his own human race so he decided to tread among the Grizzlies. And he indeed tred well among the bears for decades - giving us the unprecedented amount of close and even face to face footage with one of the most majestic and fearsome animal in the animal kingdom.

Misunderstood by people, he gave these bears all his love, devotion and - in the end - his life.

Different viewers - myself included - will see Timothy as being different shades of crazy. Some will see him as bi-polar or depressed, others as positively kooky and many as a total nut job. Whatever we may think of him, he achieved something none of us had and ever will. And I can't help but ponder that in the end it was not the craziness or the kookiness that was his demise but his arrogance. He lived among the wild bears for years (3-4 months every year for 13 years) with no harm ever coming to his 'crazy' or 'kooky' self. This last footage filmed hours before death shows us that he believed he was larger than life; that he cracked the animal code and that no harm can ever come his way. He broke his own safety protocol: he returned in September despite knowing all his long-life bear friends would be gone and beginning to hibernate; despite knowing that the bears that he would find in the Grizzly Maze would be the less familiar ones and the more aggressive ones desperately looking for food before winter; he set up his tent in hiding rather than in bears' plain sight - despite telling his viewers that it is a mistake and for anyone of us it would end badly.

I like Timothy despite what I wrote above. He was obviously troubled and in the end he became arrogant but his heart was always in the right place. Misunderstood by his own race , sadly he himself misunderstood the bears. I think this documentary portrays it very well - bears are bears; they are animals that will kill their own if they have to.
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on 16 November 2017
Wild animals kill, that's what they do. They kill to survive and they kill to protect. Timothy Treadwell tried to live in a world that would ultimately take his life - that was inevitable. Living with Grizzly Bears is no different to swimming with Great White Sharks exciting but fatal.
His end must be no surprise even to Timothy.Luck only lasts so long!
Was he mad or just stupid? Was it all simply a way of attaining notoriety? Whatever you think he certainly had guts and oodles of courage.
Werner Herzog goes a long way in helping us understand what made Timothy Treadwell tick! This is a wonderful documentary that neither applauds nor derides Treadwell and his life amongst the bears.
My only comment is that I really think Treadwell should never have taken his girlfriend into such an extremely dangerous environment. That goes far beyond stupidity and into the realm of criminal negligence.
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on 10 August 2015
I was expecting lingering shots of spectacular landscape and intimate portrayals of this most reclusive of animals, but it soon became apparent that the landscape was a mere backdrop to a character study, the brown bears reduced to lumbering extras with walk-on parts. The character in question is a maladjusted, self-deluding maverick, whom it is difficult to like. He harangues his unseen audience from the grave: he whines, he cries, he brags, he sneers, he challenges his protractors, asserts his moral superiority and displays openly and at length his particular form of neurosis. Herzog comments wryly that sometimes the appearance-conscious Treadwell exits stage left, to adjust his bandana or make some other cosmetic alteration, unwittingly leaving behind him a scene of breath-taking beauty and pure magic; his reappearance to resume or rerecord a rant abruptly breaking the spell. How much better it would have been if Treadwell had merely held the camera, instead of insisting on being in front of it, the better to deliver his tiresome homilies.
Without Herzog’s incisive and compassionate narrative, it would have been difficult to tolerate Treadwell. Interviews with his parents and friends indicate that he was disappointed by human relationships, and he seems to have evoked in others either unfaltering devotion (usually female) or profound dislike. The self-appointed bear protector, with his combative nature, could not avoid confrontations with the authorities and people who, frankly, knew better than he did.
Herzog also reveals that the image of the lone and self-reliant explorer, at one with nature, which Treadwell sought to convey, was not the entire truth either. Treadwell was usually accompanied by one or another woman during the thirteen summers he spent tracking brown bears, and he not only denied their contribution to his project but was as negligent of their safety as he was of his own. They never appeared in his frames, with the exception of Amy H, who was filmed fleetingly twice. Sadly, Amy, who shared his violent end, was already speaking openly about leaving him for good before their last, ill-fated expedition, and lost her own life in a courageous attempt to save his.
Despite all attempts at the sympathetic treatment of an awkward subject, Herzog divulges at the conclusion of the film that he does not share Treadwell’s romantic viewpoint. The bears’ blank stares reveal for him, he says, not the empathy and fellow-feeling of a persecuted species, as Treadwell’s sentimentality allows, but the indifference of nature. Their lives are arduous and brutal. For any animal behaviourist and bear specialist, Treadwell’s behaviour is naïve and dangerous in the extreme. Whilst admitting on camera that it is considered ill-advised to be in less than several hundred yards of a wild bear, Treadwell approaches them whilst they are feeding and actually touches them, with such preening insouciance that it appears he is almost willing them to attack him. What is ordinary to the point of banality about his story is his personal afflictions. But what is miraculous about it is that he survived as long as he did.
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on 16 June 2017
For all this documentary is tragic, I have to say I really enjoyed it. Some of the recordings are stunning and Timothy Treadwell was clearly very passionate about the bears he filmed and the environment he filmed them in. Wernor Herzog's narration throughout gives the whole film depth and clarity, and I struggled to tear myself away from watching it.
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on 29 June 2014
Anyone who hasn't seen this is missing something very special. Timothy Treadwell, a lovely, eccentric, crazy fellow with a passion for bears goes off into the wilderness to live among them. The attraction of this true story is partly Werner Herzog's brilliant direction, partly the incredible scenery and photography but also the outrageous extrovert characteristics of the 'Grizzly Man', and his passion for bears (and all wildlife).

He claimed that he would gladly give up his life to feed a starving bear and, indeed, that seems to have been his eventual fate. He was killed, along with his girlfriend, by a rogue bear and both were found by the pilot of his helicopter taxi, partially devoured.

He spent 13 years doing what he loved most and it was inevitable it would eventually cost him his life.
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on 17 August 2013
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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on 14 October 2014
I am fascinated by bears but not to the extent of timothy.I read about this story in readers digest a few years ago and i was looking through my books about bears(which i bought from BC Canada) and they reminded me of this story so i decided to order Grizzly Man.It is truly unbelievable the position that this man put himself in.I dont believe he thought he was a bear i think that there was a problem with his mind and how he got away with it without being harmed or killed earlier we shall never know but he did for 12 years.Luck i suppose.Amy his girlfriend was an intelligent,bright young women,i dont understand why she went with him or at least runaway,she must of known he wasnt quite right.Timothy did however get some wonderful footage of these beautiful bears including the one that killed him and amy.
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on 23 June 2014
He was an obsessive, desperate man, that was clearly dismayed with humanity. The footage that he left behind is equal parts fascinating and unsettling. It is footage that needs the hands of a skilled film-maker like Warner Herzog to turn it into a cohesive movie.

It is cohesive, but sadly it's not that compelling. The footage is consistently mesmerising, and Herzog gives us plenty. But he also seems intent to give us plenty of his subjects inane ramblings. Letting the footage run to excruciating levels at times. It are these moments that make this feel like a bit of a character assassination

At times it's difficult to watch. However the director shows enough restraint to leave us to make up our own minds.
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on 6 February 2017
Wasn't blown away by this, for some reason slightly disappointed as I expected it to be amazing. I think the problem was that I didn't like the guy himself, bit of a plonker really. Great direction though.
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on 28 July 2017
The crazy life and (end) time of Timothy Treadwell and his interactions and fascinations with wild Grizzly bears, this is up there with 'Searching for Sugar Man' as being a documentary that grips you from the start to the end titles roll.
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