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Grizzly Man (2005)

In nature, there are boundaries.

Starring:

Amie Huguenard

Carol Dexter

Franc G. Fallico

Kathleen Parker

Marc Gaede

Marnie Gaede

Sam Egli

Sven Haakanson Jr.

Timothy Treadwell

Val Dexter

Warren Queeney

Werner Herzog

Willy Fulton

Directed by:

Werner Herzog

Rating: R/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Grizzly Man is the story of the nutjob ecologist Timothy Tredwell who year after year went to live with Grizzly Bears in Alaska. For years he lived as part of their sloth (a group of a bears apparently – everyday is a schoolday) and found himself accepted by them – well, not eaten anyway. That is until one year he outstayed his welcome and found out that no matter how much you want to, you cannot take away a bear’s natural instincts. This documentary interviews the people close to Timothy and shows archive footage to explain the years leading up to the fateful night that he and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard were killed in their tent by bears.

Slightly riskily for an English-speaking documentary, Herzog decided against using an established Hollywood voice and chose to narrate his documentary himself. It really works as he has a very calm grandfatherly voice (if your Grandfather was German, of course) – and his narration is always insightful and rarely intrusive. One the whole, the documentary is balanced and refrains from both treating Timothy as a hero and casting him as a clown (even though by watching the archive footage, it is pretty easy to see that he is the former). Impressively, Herzog refuses to use sound footage of the bear attack. This rejection of using shock tactics and respect of Timothy and Amie’s family is nice to see in this day and age.

Overall, Grizzly Man is a hugely interesting account of a strange man with a fascinating life.

It's Got: Measured impressive Germanic narration, a fascinating story well told

It Needs: To cut some of the obviously fabricated scenes that cheapens the film a little

DVD Extras Not too much but that's understandable as it's a documentary - just some trailers and a featurette about the soundtrack. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Born Free, Encounters at the End of the World, Into the Wild

Summary

Grizzly Man is a hugely interesting account of a strange man with a fascinating life by master of the weird Werner Herzog.

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