In Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog feels like he met his lost cousin, when he introduces us to the personality of Timothy Treadwell - a self-exiled self-titled “bear defender” who spent around 10 summers in an Alaskan national park among grizzly bears, before ending being killed and eaten by one.
TT is the archetype Herzog character: marginal, profound, foolish, death-wishing, driven by a metaphysical goal. TT is sweet and silly, he speaks to the animals, he’s delusional, he protects them without them needing any; he’s a searcher, a wanderer, on the border - as somebody puts it in the film: “he tried to become a bear”.
The combination of original Treadwell footage coupled with Herzog commentary is documentary cinema at its best.
- TT ranting against park rangers
- the fox paws on the roof of the tent
- the “give me back my hat” fox chase
Grizzly Man is the perfect entry point for anybody wanting to discover Mr. Herzog and the rest of his 50+ years career.