maandag 8 februari 2016

100 Movie Challenge 2016 - # 20: Grizzly Man

Director: Werner Herzog
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 103 minutes
Year: 2005
Starring: Werner Herzog, Amie Huguenard, Timothy Treadwell

Description: A take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

Review: For thirteen years Timothy Treadwell spend his summers in the wilderness of Alaska, among a group of grizzly bears. The last five years he brought a camera, to document the behavior of the bears and himself. Timothy wanted to protect the bears, wanted to show the world how beautiful they are. In October 2003 they found his remains inside the stomach of a bear. Together with his girlfriend Amie he filled up to four garbage bags of human remains. He had shot hundreds of hours of material, including his own death. This material was picked up by Werner Herzog and he made “Grizzly Man”.
Timothy wanted to film the bears to protect them and to observe them. He felt at home with the bears and gave them names, he had a connection with them. There are only a few moments that Timothy is aware of the dangerous situation he is in. There is a part of him that wants to be seen as a hero, a fighter for nature. But he is also someone that despises mankind and he feels one with the bears.
Timothy saw emotion, love, grief and brotherhood when he watched the bears. Herzog didn’t. According to him nature is nothing more than a harmonic mass murder. Although Herzog hardly doubts Timothy’s sincere intentions, he doesn’t agree with his idea of nature. This makes “Grizzly Man” not just a documentary about the beautiful nature images Timothy shot, but also about the differences between man and nature.
As a viewer you’re not forced to take one side, although Timothy’s death somehow proofs Herzog’s theory. Timothy was depressed and took drugs and didn’t know what to do with his life. Thanks to the bears, Timothy found himself again, they gave him a new life. And eventually also took it.
When Timothy was attacked, the camera was running. The lens cap was still on, so there is only audio material. We don’t get to hear it, but there is a scene where Herzog is listening to it. Halfway through he asks to stop, because he can’t take to listen to it anymore.
“Grizzly Man” is an impressive documentary, a great look into the life of Timothy Treadwell. You might not agree with him and you might also say it’s his own fault he died. I think he didn’t want to go any other way.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

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