||[Jul. 11th, 2009|07:04 pm]
This weekend we watched a movie titled "Grizzly Man" about Timothy Treadwell who, for 13 seasons lived closer than anyone (either attempted and surely suggested) to Kodiak grizzly bears. |
He died as result of a bear attack at the end of one of his filming seasons. Both he and his girlfriend Amie were mauled to death and eaten at their campsite.
My feelings are mixed on this, as the man obviously has a love for nature, but he also has a narcissistic love of himself and his hero image he's created. He really came off to me as not a true lover of bears, but as a lover of how much he apparently loves bears.
As tragic as his death is, I can't help but feel it's a result of very poor planning, and ultimately did more harm to the bears he claimed to love. His and his girlfriends death (who was reportedly afraid of bears and if I had to wager a guess, forced to stay the extra time in the more dangerous part of the season) were the ONLY reported deaths in the area and surrounding park in it's 83 year history. The team investigating his death was forced to kill two bears. On top of all of that, his familiarity with the bears, could have caused them to fear humans less, thus endangering more people by curious predators. He has reportedly never offered any scientific discovery, insight, or any actual help in preserving the bears (as he himself claimed he was doing by physically being there) as the area he filmed was in a national park that was already well protected with very little to no poaching or danger to bears whatsoever.
The movie is a mix of poignant character study and often hilarious cross-sections of this man's ill-defined quest to "save the bears." It's hard to know how to feel during the film as even though Treadwell is such a fascinating subject, you're constantly reminded that he does in fact die a horrible, horrible death. This is punctuated by odd moments of him filming himself saying things like "This is incredibly dangerous." and "If you were out here, you'd be dead. Dead. Only I can do this and survive." Followed by the subtitle, "3 days before his death."
The movie is not about bears at all, although does contain amazing shots that only someone of Treadwell's questionable decision-making could have gotten. That at least is something to be said about his achievement.