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Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man

The Colour of Devotion

Timothy Treadwell, an ex-alcoholic failed actor, has reinvented himself as the 'kind warrior' of Alaska's nature reserves - a heroic protector of the potentially deadly wildlife that gambols in the green fields & knotted woods spread out beneath invitingly pure summer skies. And it's there that he dies.

Red in Tooth and Claw

On one level, this is the strangest nature documentary you'll ever see. Foxes trot like pets behind our talismanic & troubled protagonist as he walks through panoramic grasslands towards sun-warmed mountains. Bears potter unconcernedly after him as he ambles up rock-churned streams. When they're not gouging chunks out of each other that is, and being shadowed in turn by our breathless host, who gives us their backstory, interprets their struggles, and feels he knows their dreams.

He will shout at the sky when the rain doesn't come, and mothers starved of salmon runs turn on their young. He will churn his own rocks to provide new streams, feeding his companions, saving himself from the horror of what nature can become.

Treadwell is our guide for much of the film, having shot fastidious amounts of footage for what he hopes will one day become a documentary series. But luckily this material fell into the hands of an eminently suitable director to craft a new story from them. Werner Herzog goes on his own journey throughout this film, meeting many irreverent & loving commentators on Treadwell's life, as he attempts to understand a man who is his polar opposite when it comes to seeing love in nature's maw.

Pious coroners, beach friends, ex-lovers & disproving locals try to fill in the details of this self-mythologising man-child, so in his element amongst the bears, so seemingly lost anywhere else. He gambled with his own life and that of his girlfriend, he gambled with the safety of the bears by acclimatising them to humans. And like many gamblers, who know the rules but stretch them, and try to create a reality they prefer, he's a fascinating and tragic figure to observe, as life's cards fall where they will.