Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog, 2005)

Herzog’s incredibly intriguing documentary on nature, human beings’ nature, solitude, longing and belonging, love and death, and being seen and being seen on film, opens with the image of two grizzly bears on a plateau. A man enters the frame. He is only about 100 meters away from them. Armless and nonchalant, he starts speaking to the camera, explaining to the audience in a very personal and intimate manner the state of the bears.

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“Behind me is Ed and Rowdy, members of an up-and-coming subadult gang.”

After introducing the bears to us, he shows hints of his fear, but mostly brags about (and also convinces himself) how he is mastering their territory as he is becoming one of them.

Although Grizzly Man is about the horrible death of Timothy Treadwell, the man who lived with these grizzly bears for thirteen consecutive summers, it becomes an investigation of his life in the real world, what took him there, how he perceived himself, and how his camera perceived him and his surroundings as it continued to record his experiences.

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