Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
Self-taught naturalist Timothy Treadwell spent 12 summers living in the wilds of Alaska, obsessively filming the activities of grizzly bears. Treadwell became incredibly familiar with dozens of bears, naming them like pets. His methods and his fierce identification with the bears were seen by qualified researchers as misguided, cavalier and exceptionally dangerous. Seeing him in the company of these majestic wild beasts, at one point even providing commentary as two of them fight, is amazing, scary stuff. It’s not a surprise perhaps that he and his girlfriend were ultimately killed by a bear in October 2003. How could he have thought that it would end any other way? Werner Herzog, cine-biographer supreme of nature’s obsessives, delves into the wilful romanticism of Treadwell’s quest, drawing extensively on the 100 hours of extraordinary video footage he left behind.
“Grizzly Man is a brilliant portrait of adventure, activism, obsession and potential madness that ranks among Werner Herzog’s strongest work.” — Scott Foundas, Variety