Here Herzog explores the life and death of environmentalist Timothy Treadwell, a grizzly bear expert who spent thirteen entire summers, completely unarmed, near the bears at Katmai National Park and Reserve in Alaska. He filmed his adventures in this cruel, wild environment. In October 2003, the remains of Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were discovered near their tent: they had been devoured by an adult of the species. It was the first time a bear had attacked people in the park. The film tries to delve into not only the mysteries of wild nature, but also those of the human soul. Herzog put the film together using Treadwell’s own video footage and interviews he conducted. —Thessaloniki International Film Festival
One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production… read more
A difficult legacy, well-documented by Werner Herzog. Heavily uses footage shot by the doc's subject Timothy Treadwell, all indicating a sense of danger and impending tragedy. Not just a study of Treadwell but also of the people in his life and the first responders of his tragic death. Herzog keeps a distance from the camera but eventually does get pulled into the proceedings physically and emotionally. Must-watch.
"And more so, it seems to me that this landscape in turmoil is a metaphor for his soul."
Unnerving. When the ex-soulmate recounts setting a difficult family on fire while working as a steakhouse "Serving Wench," it helps explain the nature lovers' flight from people, but what can explain the love for bears? I came to loathe the very sight of them. An almost maternal voice comes out of Treadwell at times, scolding then trying to make up. He had issues, okay; but so did the bears.