philosophic inquiry into life and meaning

...if truth were not for man the desire for truth would not be as a burning unrest in his heart...

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Cover of movie Grizzly man shows man and bear.

In 2003, Grizzly bear activist Timothy Treadwell and his girlfriend Amie Huguenard lived in Alaska promoting awareness of the endangered bears. In a tragic event, both are killed by a hungry grizzly bear. This movie uses Timothy's own footage to document what happened.


My initial reaction after watching this film was: "What was this guy thinking? -- Or not thinking the case may be?" Being around bears and expecting to not get eaten? You don't mess with bears, you respect them by keeping your distance. He thought himself the 'protector' of the bears. The funny thing is the bears are already on protected lands -- Katmai National Park in Alaska.


The movie documents his time in the wild, sometimes him alone with only a camera. He shows signs of mental illness and OCD behaviour as well. He would often try a 'take' several times repeatedly before he felt satisfied with it. His emotional 'love' for the bears over-rid his rational logic for common sense. He was filming himself and the bears for a possible TV show as he tried to portray himself as similar to the "Crocodile Hunter," Steve Irwin but with bears. As the movie progresses he goes on to criticize society and his role in it.


He wished to find simplicity in nature and that's what he got -- eat or be eaten is the natural law. This disturbing film relates a tale of nature, human nature more than animal nature, and Tim's obsession with the bears...and death. He says in the film many times that he could get killed out there. It almost is like he has a death-wish and by his death his aims of protecting the bears would be realized. But it does seem like a mistake as he seemed to show fear when the bears neared him and he would start talking to them ("no you don't do that!") and shoo them off. The videos of the bears are great and there are some impromptu moments with some foxes that adopt Timothy (because he fed them I believe).


At one point, Timothy becomes paranoid that the poachers are after him. He hides behind a tree as poachers come ashore on the coast and films his reactions. He cares for the bears but does not stop the poachers because he is too afraid it seems. Later the poachers leave a smiley face on a rock and mess with some of his stuff. Tim reacts to this with paranoia and thinks they are now hunting him. Also, Tim is supposedly alone in the film and tries to make it seem that way. However, several times he had his girlfriend there with him or his friend pilot, who would drop him off in remote areas of the wilderness, would be there but Tim would make it seem as if he were alone behind the camera. He was trying to build up an image or live up to an image he had about himself as the bear's guardian which was laughably and sadly his downfall.


The movie is then mostly a psychological film, dark because we know its ending before beginning. It's kind of disturbing but worth a look.