Grizzly Man

David Edelstein’s review of Werner Herzog’s documentary, Grizzly Man, describes Timothy Treadwell as

…a manic but lovable whack-job who doggedly filmed and obsessively idealized the bears that would ultimately eat him…

The film is made up largely of the bits of the hundreds of hours of video that Treadwell himself shot during his 14 years with the bears. Later, however, Edelstein — probably restraining laughter — calls Treadwell “histrionic” and a “drama-queen” (isn’t that sort of redundant?).

If my tone is insufficiently respectful, it’s only because Grizzly Man itself often plays like a Christopher Guest “mockumentary.”

Not all is to be mocked, however. It seems that all who’ve seen the movie ask the same question: “was Treadwell suicidal?” Edelstein does, then adds “was he bipolar?”

My quoting is probably unfair to Edelstein, who’s six graphs on the movie are a whole lot more balanced and documented than what is represented here. Still, he describes the film as:

an emotional roller-coaster ride. You don’t know whether to celebrate or mock, to laugh or weep.

Finally, Edelstein addresses the audio recording Treadwell mad of his own death:

Herzog shoots himself listening on headphones to the six minutes of screaming… He doesn’t share the tape with us and tells Treadwell’s ex-girlfriend to destroy it. You can respect the way Herzog handles that material and still roll your eyes at his theatrics. That’s very much true of the whole film—and its larger-than-life subject. Too bad he wasn’t larger than bears.

Related: Alaskan Bear Attacks and Grizzly Man on IMDB.

alaska, bear, bear attack, bear attacks, bears, david edelstein, drama queen, emotional roller coaster, film, film review, grizzlies, grizzly, grizzly attack, grizzly bear, grizzly bears, grizzly man, grizzly people, histrionic, movie, movie review, msn, timothy treadwell, treadwell, werner herzog, wilderness

714 thoughts on “Grizzly Man

  1. He was in a very dense area. Lots of bushes and trees. They call it the Grizzly Maze so it was like you say, riddled with trails. They said he normally camped out in the open so he could/they could see them/him ahead of time. This time he camped in the thick of the bush. From what I understood, he was headed out of there but got into it at the airline terminal with an employee and headed back…it was very late in the season and he usually did not stay this late. Have a good weekend…Sherie

  2. Tim wasn’t that fucked up. He was just sick of the same ol’ BS in daily life. People in our society dont care about anything but $. He was trying to protect the bears from poachers, for all the morons who have to ask what danger the bears where in. He just got to the point in life where many of us have been before. He wanted a purpose in life, He wanted to do something helpfull while on the planet. He died doing something he loved, which is more than all the idiots caught up in the ratrace of our american society can say. I respect his decision to do what he wanted, He found a place to get away from all the evil in the world. His mistake was bringing a regular up there. Either way however, he died in honor, doing something he loved, and probably enjoyed the peace and tranquility he was able to enjoy before his tragedy. He didnt try to kill himself, it was an accident. They happen everyday. I dont think he was mentally disturbed, he just wansn’t the normal ant that everyone one else is ok being. He took back his own life and did what he wanted with it. I wish I had the courage to go live in the wilderness too, we all should, but we cant because we’ve all been raised to be ants and slaves to the man. Who and what owns all you people? There is no such thing as freedom, anymore. He was close to it. To live like a wild animal is the closest to true natural behavior and real freedom. So hurry up and get back to work, so you can pay your bills.

  3. HAHAHAHAHAHAH HER POOP! HER POOP! IT JUST CAME OUT OF HER BUTT…I CAN..I CAN FEEL IT I CAN FEEL THE POOP ITS WARM IT JUST CAME FROM HER BUTT!! THIS WAS JUST INSIDE HER MY GIRL ITS HER POOP!!! WENDYS POOP, I MAY BE WEIRD CUZ I TOUCHED HER POOOP BUT I WAS INSIDE OF HER HAHAHAHHAA THIS MOVIE IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS AND YOU PEOPLE SHOULD ALL BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES HAHA THIS CAT IS OFF MAKIN MONEY SOMEWHERE OFF OF THIS. THE WHOLE MOVIE IS FAKE, EVERYTHING! THE SCENERY, THE SCRIPTED FOOTAGE, THE FAKE BEAR LEG AHAHAH THE TRAINED FOX OH MY GOD HAHA I FEEL SO RIPPED OFF..HE JUST HAPPENED TO NOT TAKE THE LENS OFF, SCREW THAT ITS FAKE THATS WHY. IDIOTS…

  4. I think that the show drew me in by thinking i would hear the “tape” where everyone in the shoe listened and made their faces and comments, I cannot because that was withheld. Much respect to the family but if you want the story to get out there you need to provide all of it.

  5. you know this guy was an idiot! if the bears are running out of food and its getting winter then they are going to eat something! why the heck would you go and set up camp next to a river where bears are going to be looking for food??

    And think that they are not going to eat you??? DUMB!!!

  6. In some ways you have to admire Timothy Treadwell for doing what he loved. At the same time however, there are several problems that have to be addressed with his methods. First, Timothy Treadwell was no expert. He did what he thought was best for the bears but overall what was best for himself. This selfish attitude led to not only his death, but to the death of his girlfriend as well. The way he carefully tried to shape the reality that was shown through his documentaries is very contradictory to the good that he tries to portray. If he really wished to show the reality and project his since of right and protection of these animals, would he not have left it unaltered? Wouldn’t he refrain from multiple takes? He wanted acceptance and he believed he had found it among these bears. Tragically he was mistaken. He never really became a part of the bear community he so desperately wanted to belong to and it cost him his life. You can only imagine himself questioning his actions in those final moments. The bottom line however is this, Treadwell did more damage than good. Not only did he and his girlfriend die, but also two bears were killed when discovering what had happened. Most experts also believe that his methods and antics were simply wrong and detrimental to the neutral relationship between humans and bears. Treadwell can be admired for his courage and passion, but at the same time it should be understood that Timothy Treadwell was selfish in his actions.

  7. I, myself, think he was a good person, although clearly crazy.

    I have some things I’d like to point out.

    1. Amie was not a naive city girl. She grew up in Ohio, with full knowledge of bears. She loved Timothy with all her heart and trusted him. Timothy was NOT responsible for her death. She knew the risk. People say that she didn’t, but she did. Grizzly bears were her passion.

    2. Treadwell did defend the bears from poachers. In 2004, at least six bears were killed illegally by poachers. There were no such cases of poaching this extreme when Treadwell was around because he scared off the poachers who were doing illegal hunting. You have to admire his bravery and devil-may-care attitude, however, because there are few who do those kinds of things. You must admire his skill of living out there for thirteen summers with those magnificent animals.

    3. The bear that ate Timothy and Amie was not a well-known bear. This bear was skinny, fragile, and had just arrived. Because Timothy spent longer in Alaska than usual, he experienced the bears he met dwell into winter dens. These bears were replaced by scrawnier, poor bears, that possibly came farther up from the mountains and arrived to find better sources of food. The bear, I think, was just an abused, skinny, poor bear that hated humans. The death of these human beings were not accidents. I assume the bear was purposefully after Amie and Timothy. The thirteen years Timothy was there, he was possibly never challenged by a bear like this. I think that Bear 141 was just remembering what had happened to him in the past. He possibly was sedated, tatooed, and done tests on and abused.

    4. Timothy was not mental. He may have had some different thoughts than the average person because he loaded up on drugs such as heroin and cocaine in his past. Because of these overdoses, he sought a better healing and went to Alaska. The overdoses were so intense that they possibly caused him to become a little wacko….

    5. This last one is just my opinion. I think he did some great things, and got some great footage. Before you say I am suicidal and crazy for being inspired by him, I will specifically tell you that I am just a normal man with a normal job. I am glad there are people out there that want to save the animals. I personally did not know Treadwell, but because I am so inspired and awed by this man’s work, sometimes I feel that I do. Timothy and Amie…thank you for doing what you wanted to do in life and walking past the fog of everyone else’s deadly criticism.

    R.I.P

  8. ROACHMAN! ROCK ON MAN! ROCK ON! Thank God there’s people like this in this horrid world of ours.

  9. I support the efforts of any human being, no matter how nonsensical and dangerous it may appear, that in today’s day and age devotes their life to the plight of animals. I think he was an unusual man, but he had a wonderful spirit and purpose. It’s an absolute shame that he die in such a manner. I believe his work will still by and large be beneficial to wildlife. I only wish more people could devote their lives so selflessly, myself included. It makes me ashamed that the only active role I play in animal conservation is donating money.

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