Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Grizzly Man (2005)

Directed by Werner Herzog

Starring Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Werner Herzog, Carol Dexter


Here’s a guy who wanted to be as poetic, righteous, and rugged as the Crocodile Hunter (actually, more like Austin Stevens). Instead, he comes across as a guy with some serious issues. He‚Äôs lonely, a bit of a loser, and above all, grossly disillusioned. A social outcast, he has embraced isolation and seclusion in nature. It has become a religion for him, and the bears are his gods. And complete religious conviction often comes with avoidance of reason and denial of fact.

He truly believes that he needs to be there to “save” the bears, yet he never establishes the problems facing the bears. He believes he is a conservationist, yet he dodges authorities and apparently doesn’t have any of the required degrees or certifications. He imagines problems that may not have even existed, and he fantasizes about being someone he is not.

The real tragedies, I think, are that a bear was killed for being a bear (something that even Treadway would have been upset about), and that Treadway was never brought to justice for trespassing in federally protected areas and ultimately endangering the lives of bears and other humans.

While he did have some ability to interact with bears, he was being selfish and naive. It was only a matter of time before he or others were killed. He was lucky to gather as much footage as he did. Some of it, admittedly, is pretty cool.

Werner handles the material with refreshing objectivity, but some of his friends’ testimony, especially from the actor, seem a bit scripted.

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