Grizzly Man

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Werner Herzog's latest film, Grizzly Man, is a documentary on Timothy Treadwell, a California dude who heard his calling in living with wild grizzlies, often calling them his "friends" and bawling in front of the camera of out of love for them. The tragic aspect of the quixotic Treadwell story is simply that he and his girlfriend were, one early autumn day, eaten by one of his 'friends.' The film is, as is with all Herzog films, brutal, emotional and full of Herzog's insane yet perspicacious wit. While obviously sympathetic to Treadwell's romantic vision as a filmmaker, Herzog never ceases to view his actions from a critical eye. While his narration is often pointed, he often lets the key players speak for themselves. A marvelous and complex portrait, not of bears, but of man's inability to recognize that his own technological/urban impulse is profoundly linked with his romantic vision of nature. And, while Herzog may be sympathetic to Treadwell's quest, he never believes for a second in the idea that the bears are friends. He sees instead nature, with her murderous heartless glance, gazing disaffectedly at dinner.

Oh, and in case I didn't make it clear, this was for me the BEST film released in 2005.