Grizzly Man 2005 ***

Not all of Werner Herzog’s documentary ideas are fun to watch; his 2005 doc The Wild Blue Yonder has audiences queuing at the exits when screened at the Venice Film festival. But Grizzly Man shows the maverick director at his best, patiently and idiosyncratically telling the moving story of Timothy Treadwell, an environmentalist who set out to live with grizzly bears, a species with which he had a keen affinity. Unfortunately for Treadwell, the feeling was not mutual, and he ended up being killed by the creatures he loved. Herzog narrates in his own voice, his off-kilter tones adding a layer of humour to what could easily be a downbeat story; Treadwell comes off as a well-meaning but naïve individual, a perfect hero for this absorbing portrait of a man whose passion for nature led him to extremes of behaviour, and to a sad demise.


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