Polar Bear Man

Polar Bear Man

2014, Environment  -   31 Comments
Ratings: 7.82/10 from 90 users.

It was supposed to be a soothing and serene camping excursion in the Torngat Mountains of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Matthew Dyer, a civil attorney based out of Lewiston, Maine, was anxious to take in the splendid natural sights and indulge in his long-time fascination with the majestic polar bear. Not long into his dream expedition, one of those bears got too close, and Dyer came back home a physically shattered man.

In the earliest moments of Polar Bear Man, an enlightening new documentary from VICE Reports, Dyer describes the horrific injuries he sustained in the jaws of the massive beast. "I had a broken jaw," he recalls. "I had a collapsed lung. I had a cracked vertebra in my neck. Essentially, as I understand it, [the bear] paralyzed one of my vocal chords. He was just trying to get me out of that tent with his mouth."

Polar bear attacks on humans are not a new phenomenon, but they've remained relatively rare until the past decade. As explored over the course of this riveting film, one of major culprits behind this upward shift comes from what some may consider a surprising source: climate change. A warming planet has destroyed much of the ice that polar bears depend upon to seek out their food. As a result, these bears are forced to find their nourishment through other channels, and this has translated into increased incidents of aggressive interactions with humans.

With sensitive and painful intimacy, Polar Bear Man dramatizes Dyer's struggles to find closure from his trauma as he returns to the scene of his attack. His intensely personal journey is effectively placed in a broader context as it's played out against the landscape of global warming.

Mercifully void of impenetrable scientific statistics and language, the film frames the conversation of global warming in a completely engaging and understandable way, allowing us to absorb the myriad of human costs at stake. If we dare continue our devastation of the planet and all of its natural elements, the film argues, it's an inevitability that nature will fight back.

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31 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jenna

    I can't even watch this documentary. They go off to travel places people haven't been before , encroaching on the bears territory and feel it's okay to "shoot to kill" these endangered species all for a look at the land. All they're doing is adding to the low numbers of these poor bears. If you're not a biologist you really should'nt be going into bear territory and risking being hurt or killing a bear. One star, did not finish.

  2. John smith

    This would have been interesting if the climate agenda wasnt included.

  3. Peter Hill

    -don't go sleeping in a tent where there are bears, this guy is obviously a moron.

  4. Mike

    Why didnt the electric bear fence drive the bear off?

  5. j.smith

    What I dont understand is why dont the bears just go north to where the sea ice is, if it's retreating?Why go where there is no ice? Doesn't make sense.

    1. jenna

      no food up north , they're biggest prey are seals which they can't get to on solid ice.

  6. Jay Steff

    Makes sense to always carry bear spray when out in the wild..... $50 bucks is cheap to spend to possibly prevent a meeting like this guy had.

  7. DustUp

    Ditto @DougDeGrave. I have to laugh when the leftys call for a study = mega dollars to make them feel better since they love to waste money that could do some real good, like building polar bear food vending machines around the Arctic, but nothing new is learned. A local could tell them more for a cup of coffee.

    So when you look at ice core samples and find 5 different levels (eras) when there was palm trees, did man cause those also? I think it was Bush's uh I mean Trump's fault...

    In truth I really dislike pollution. Yet all the rich Hollywood libs just point fingers at it while hoarding their cash. How about figuring out a way to stop it? Ocean dumping could be stopped. Japan dumping radioactive water into the ocean could be stopped. There are ways to process that if they would only use them. Yet no productive action from the left. Just continual whining. Do something productive. The problem why nothing gets done? It IS the left doing as much of the polluting as anyone while their friends in fake news outlets only point to anyone but themselves for all the problems THEY cause. They tell us that there are too many people yet they keep having kids who only grow up to be whiners as well. What about me? What have I done? And my whining about the libs? When you walk in my shoes you will then feel small. Keep on emoting, that really accomplishes a lot. I do know a few productive libs. I've worked with and helped them. Too bad they are to chicken crap to take on chemtrails. That was their solution to global warming and it is killing the planet, which they blame on anything but themselves.

    1. JMFD

      Take your scientifically illiterate friends and go back to 4chan. This is a good doc that shows the impact of (obviously man-made) climate change on animal behavior.

    2. j.smith

      fair comments.I think also that a lot of these 'scientists'' benefit from continual funding if they say that global warming is an issue for what ever reason,keeps them all in jobs and travel. The middle ages were much warmer than today not millions of years ago as the film suggests.That was the point when I had a skeptic eye.

  8. Ptboy

    love the film footage,, Doug and Lex get it. I grew up there (NFLD,LAB) and lived for a year is goose bay. I grew up with stories of my Aunt having to sleep with the .303 because the starving white bears can rip into a house like Popeye squeezing spinach, that was in the fifties in Churchill(man.) and very common place at that time, and probably still is!! While film creator uses the scientific like data ?,, regards to # of attacks by year from 2012 ,,12,12,12,10,14 (oh god fourteen attacks in 2015 , and then the polar bear expert from San Francisco says look at the trend ??? and "more bear sightings, fewer bears" wtf. Thats science ? Back before that area was a park if somebody had a reason to go and stay there for a few days and had a problems with an aggressive bear.. it was dead and there was little fanfare!!!
    I mean when the film producer says "oh it was so cold, yesterday it was 75 ? and today its freezing ???
    What the fac do you think, its july in Northern Labrador. I have camped by myself whilst salmon fishing(nfld) northern peninsula and i promise you i always had a loaded .12, and when the bears roll through, usually blackbears I think they can sense when your not to be F*&^cked with and simply leave you alone, and luckily I have never had to shoot one, and only came close a few times when bears persistantly are around the camp. My granola eating hippy friends (ontario,can) really can't understand and are not prepared for that shit until they have a really bad experience with a wild animal or worse in Labrador are the semi feral dogs... not sure if its still so.
    I was really offended when the one adventurer implied that Parks canada (and the outfitter) were negligent because they Sierra were not properly supervised ?, advised? that this was a dangerous place, and they should be prepared ! They were almost prepared, i like the electric fence idea,(doesn't work, but yah sleep better)...And the science says this is all cause of global warming..... I don't like the science these folks present as fact. Nice film footage, don't let any of this crap prevent anybody from travelling to that area, just bring along a pro. and you won't have problems.


  9. Haut

    1st five minutes, turned it off, looked like a good story but "NOOO" more Global warming BULLSHIT!

  10. lex lexich

    i now its appealing to camp in a place like that, and most often the people that go there consider themselves the nature lover, but the thing is it is quite the opposite, they dont respect the animal's (bear in this case) living space, and they SHOULD STAY OUT, where there are humans (armed with guns and sprays and shockers and god knows what) THAT 'S NO LONGER the WILDERNESS, and that means intention to kill the animals, why is human life so much important than polar bear's? there are like more than 7 billion humans, and only 25 000 polar bears in the world, if someone wants to go there -frstly i would make them pay a lot (money that would be used for polar bears research and conservation) then i would make them pay a big life insurance, and finally i would not let them carry any kind of weapon or spray or shocker, only a stick and some stones -then if someone wants to go (cause i agree, its better to die feeding polar bear mother than in some hospital bed) let them go, but they must respect the nature... the thing is it's simple old tourism -motor boats, stove camps bla bla, you go with a knife and a canoe, and then you can say that you had some experience, but watching bears from helicopters with sniper guns is for pussies, they always said how many people died from PB attacks but what they should say is how many polar bears died for every single person attacked. we dont deserve such great animals, we dont deserve any of our fellow mammals, we should live in a world infested with flies, mosquito, cockroaches, ticks and worms

    1. lex lexich

      ups we already live in a world like that, metaphorically speaking

    2. lex lexich

      '' must be a beach bird, looks very tasty'' @ 24:30

  11. Reprovo

    Risky behaviour Is rising , not temperature.

  12. Jeremy Kull

    You dumb a**es pretty much baited a polar bear. It is a struggling species and you are in its territory. Leave them and their remaining territory alone.

    jeremy, yukon canada------------

    read sea of slaughter by farley mowat.........climate change is only the last threat on polar bears. they were land bearing animals before hunted to almost extinction in the 1700 and 1800's. They solely exist in the arctic because people would not travel so far to further wipe them out. Tourists................

  13. Fabien L

    Am I the only one that sees the irony of a film crew taking a plane to Labrador and California to complain about climate change?

  14. DougDeGrave

    This has an analogous context laced with guilt propaganda. Not in the phony theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming, but in the futile and unappreciated efforts by Leftist Social Justice Warriors. This parallels the comedic stories that keep popping up about White Liberal Cultural Marxists who protest for the rights of thugs to be thugs against the so-called, racist Police who then become the victims of violent thugs in the middle of a crowd of rioters.

    1. Kussit

      Nailed it Doug.

      No wonder I briefly experienced a sense of guilt-ridden déjà vu while reading that doc description. Propaganda at its sliest....

  15. Ivana

    Man is doing a harm to this planet and all living things on it. From the perspective of all beings except humans ,evolution didn't do any good .

    1. Fabien L

      Without climate change and evolution, Dinosaurs would still dominate the planet and mammals would still be the likes of rats. And there would be no bears at all...

    2. Mourning glory

      ..Wha..?, "Dinosaurs" don't still dominate the Earth..??

    3. DougDeGrave

      You mean the reptilian humanoid shape-shifting elite bankers? LMAO.

    4. duh

      he means fossil fuel use. you know, from dinosaur remains.

  16. With Fortitude

    The only climate change is your being in the polar bears climate . You deserved every things you got. Be glad your not dead!

  17. User_1

    So sad seeing a polar bear in SF. :'(

    1. justaphysicalist

      Hello User_1, can you explain what "SF" means in this comment?

    2. User_1

      Sorry, SF = San Francisco. SF is used a lot in California, but my bad on this.

    3. DougDeGrave

      There's an increasing number of "bears" living in SF.¯_(ツ)_/¯

  18. pwndecaf

    Worth a watch!