Grizzly Man
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Grizzly Man

2005, Nature  -   43 Comments
Ratings: 6.98/10 from 49 users.

Grizzly ManFor 13 years, Timothy Treadwell spent his summers on the Alaskan Peninsula, living among wild bears and, for the last five years, videotaping his life there. His winters were spent touring elementary schools and making television appearances, in an effort to educate people about the plight of the animals he loved. This continued until October 5, 2003, when Treadwell and his girlfriend were attacked and killed by a bear.

Using Treadwell’s footage as well as interviews with his friends, family, and local authorities, director Werner Herzog crafts a fascinating documentary around his favorite themes: obsession, madness, and man’s place in nature. Herzog, who has an active role in the film, empathizes with Treadwell, even though their worldviews are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Addressing the camera, Treadwell, who had no formal training with animals, saw himself as a “kind warrior” who was there to protect the bears from poachers, developers, and others who would do them harm. But others saw him as a deluded kook, suffering at least from a naiveté about his role in the bears’ lives. (When Treadwell waxes poetic about a fresh pile of bear dung, it’s hard to disagree with them)...

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5 years ago

As far as I know the older grizz had trouble feeding on salmon, whether because of age and or stronger bears butting in, the girl was told she could not join him and on the last day he was to leave he agreed she could come see him, well the old grizz must have decided they were and easy meal, oh well

No nie
7 years ago

There is no mistaking that Timothy Treadwell was a natural in front of a camera. He was extremely charismatic. For 13 summers he camped alone (except for the few times in the last years when he had the company of women) which demonstrated he was one tough guy. Resilient and determined. I found him endlessly fascinating. If I had the talent, I'd love to write an in depth biography on this man. I'm hoping one day somebody will.

8 years ago

He absolutely was on a death wish. No question about it. Knocking at deaths door every time he was within 50 feet of the beast.

11 years ago

I watched this last night. Amazing and tragic story.

Timothy Treadwell was a madman, but was passionate and fearless. I believe he knew he would die out there and I think that's exactly how he wanted it. You get an idea as you watch that he slowly was becoming more and more wild over time.

I can understand his desire to live in the wilderness and protect the wildlife.. When I look around my city I see waste, waste, and more waste. We've lost the beauty of nature and we've taken nature out of man. I don't think man can survive very long without allowing himself to be wild from time to time.

I think Timothy Treadwell lived and died better than most of us could ever hope to. This documentary does a good job of showing the good and the bad, and was very well done.

11 years ago

How ironic that his stated intent was to protect the bears from people yet he could not protect himself from the bears. A sad tragic story. He must have known he was going to die

11 years ago

As said below, the guy was full on bonkers and stupid. There's a reason why nearly every case of attempted domestication of bears ends in carnage riddled tragedy, they are WILD ANIMALS and completely unpredictable. It's amazing he lasted as long as he did around them, they were probably too busy laughing at his silly antics to be their normal ass hole bear selves and take him out. One day he must have ran out of jokes...

Solitare Macabre
11 years ago

He was nuts. When I watched this I could barely keep myself from turning the program off. It's like the people who swim with sharks everyone knows what they are and what they can do just how close up do you want to see it happen. This is worst documentary I have ever watched. I think some doc s. that I have stopped watching in the first 5 minutes were better than this. Why did I stay to the end you might wonder. Me too? I guess I could not believe it and I had to see with my own eyes. He was NUTS.

11 years ago

I may criticize the details of a man's life or even his fatal obsession. I may criticize his method, his thoughtlessness, or even his logic and morality. But when it comes down to it, I know that I can not help respecting him and would gladly sit down and share a meal with him so that I can get into his head and understand more. This is how I have felt toward some of my best friends in life, and this is how I feel about Timothy Treadwell. In the way that I have befriended the Autistic, the Bicycle Thief, The PTSD Soldier, the Bipolar Writer, the Heroin Addicted Film Editor, the Lesbian DJ and computer programmer, the Undocumented Worker, and the Single Mother of Three, I am drawn to all of them the way I felt connected with Timothy Treadwell and this documentary. He has lived the great adventure in convoluted, agonizing, surprising, inspiring, terrifying, and polarizing electricity.

Wagner is an excellent director of this kind of documentary, and this is the documentary that helped me appreciate him as a director. His dry, heavy, yet beautiful voice overs really ask the right questions.

My boyfriend and I watched this doc over and over, showed it to countless people, and lent our DVD of it to many roommates, friends, and family. The way they would react to the documentary would give us a LOT of information about them. It reveals a lot about the viewer. One friend of ours collapsed into a pile of nervous chuckles throughout the movie was genuine- ly moved. My parents couldn't finish watching it because they thought Tim Treadwell was so stupid.

I don't think Tim Treadwell was stupid. I don't think his life was a waste. Because that's not fair. Imagine if one mirrored perception of my life and death were spread out in an agonizing array of people I slept with, people I hung out with, and people I taught. ..... . . would that capture me? No, surely not. But I would sure as hell hope it was as interesting as Grizzly Man.

11 years ago

Hey Vlatko, this is still unavailable in the US, do you think you can dig up a copy we can see over here? Just hoping :)

P.S. You rule so hardcore XD

11 years ago

Whether this man was psychologically having some problem is not the important point of dispute. We must atleast acknowledge the insanity of that man to believe in protection of wild life...which all the sane people & business houses always deliberately ignore. And when & where such ignorance exist such tragic ends are meant to be seen... :-(
I really don't understand when Man will learn respecting the Wildlife freedom of life & start protecting & conserving them...

12 years ago

this lunatic put his female partner in harms way when she clearly didn't want to be there and she ended up paying the ultimate price for his out of control ego, the guy should be remembered for the moron he was not celebrated as some kind of hero,

12 years ago

I think this is whats called thinning the herd . I hope they had time to curl into a ball and play dead . Let this be a lesson to other would be bear people don't mess with bears

12 years ago

Its a tragic story in which 2 people died and 2 bears died who didn't need to. Although I think we should all be grateful that Timothy made this documentary. Even though it may have been a foolish thing to do, he had no intention of hurting anyone. But shit happens. it's over. they're dead.
The only thing left now is to be grateful for this footage because to date I have never seen such an amazing documentary and i don't think i ever will again. There is a lot to learn from this, don't get caught up in the controversy.

12 years ago

I have seen plenty of this video and the bear that killed him was not one of the bears that killed him.His bears were gone and the bear that got him was an absolute stranger.Though I think he is a moron who should have never entered the woods.I believe the statement that one of the bears that he cared for killed him is FALSE.

lee jones
12 years ago

definitely has a personality disorder, the "Humans in bear costumes" comment resounds in my mind due to the way he talks to them and craves the interaction with them. I think this would have happened sooner or later to him. feel sorry for his girlfriends family.

12 years ago

you're a bigger tool than Treadwell...

12 years ago

Great doc and site, tyvm Vlatko.

12 years ago

great site Vlatko. But can't watch this in the US. Bummer. Glad there is lots of other good stuff here to watch. Thanks

Scotlands Best
12 years ago

Nice Doc Vlatko Thanks :)

13 years ago

Blocked in the USA by Lionsgate films.

13 years ago

should have been bear grylls vs grizzly bears, would have been better.

13 years ago

I'm not really sure why people say he deserved to die but his female friend didn't.. Maybe he was a nut for living with the bears and claiming to protect them, and i agree he was doing it for his own selfish reasons and maybe even just for attention.. But the lady knew the risks of living amongst the bears just as well as he did.. So if he deserve to die and got what he was asking for then so did she.. She was grown people and she could have decided not to go with him.. Let's be fair about it.. They both knew exactly what they were getting themselves in to..

13 years ago

I also think treadwell was a little off but his intentions were good. As for the autopsy doctor, he was the creepiest person/thing in the film.

13 years ago

Are you sure he was there with his girlfriend and not a friend that happened to be a girl?

13 years ago

@FabBrunetter: 2 bears? what other one, aside from the one that ate him? i do agree with your opinion on Treadwell.

13 years ago

I find it ironic that two bears died because of Treadwell. The very bears he was protecting from nothing were killed because he lost his grip on reality. The bears wound up needing protection from him.
Willy Fulton says that "Timmy would've been happy if they never found him". What about Amy?
Treadwell's friends coo and speak about how he died doing what he loved, but I think he was extremely selfish. Two bears and Amy were killed because he insisted on living in a fantasy land and ignored the reality of it all.
I thought this was a revealing and balanced movie. Werner Herzog's narration was right on and thought provoking. Did you expect anything else?

Vlatko, can you get anymore Herzog docs? I've been having a hard time getting My Best Fiend...

13 years ago

Awesome documentary!

13 years ago

I have no sympathy for willfully stupid people. The sad part of this was the death of the girl. I have a great deal of admiration for intelligent adventurers who take calculated risks. But this guy was, for lack of a better term, a complete jackass.

13 years ago

This is what happnes when people divert themself from the worship of their lord...serve your creater with heart and in retun he shal serve you even better.....

13 years ago

Most people want to have a purpose. Some are nobler then others. I wonder if the Bears will have remembrance day for the ole chap. His family sure did.

13 years ago

geat comedy!!! that dude was such a jackass i think he was deffinitly crazy its too bad that girl had to die with him i feel bad for her...i think treadwell was deffinitly asking for it,,,,,it was only a matter of time im surprised he lasted as long as he did.....lets be honest if your a poacher and your trying to kill bears why would some dumbass in the middle of nowhere with no gun no weapon stop you from getting your bear......i would shoot both of them the bear and treadwell

13 years ago

fijian we all have screws loose one way or another, some have other screws too hard to notice the loose ones...

Respect to Vlatko

13 years ago

Treadwell seems like hes got a few screws loose. How can he be claiming to "protect" the bears when hes in a protected park with no poachers to begin with. Im kinda glad the bear ate him!

13 years ago

Vlatko, You are the man! This site is off the charts as far as quality docs and links go. Keep up the good work and let me know if you need any assistance.

Charles B.
13 years ago

Yes, both my wife and I really like crime also . . . . . ur, I mean watching crime solving!

I'm sorry for Grizzly man. Bummer, as he was such a trooper for Grizzly conservation.

13 years ago

Vlatko, This documentary rocks! on another note, i think it would be good to create a categorie for Crime. In that categorie you can include all of the serial killer and unsolved cold case docs which there are thousands. This categorie i think would boost your hits through the roof as i feel it is the most interesting / thought prevolking. Just a thought.