Reflection: Interspecies Relationships
"Walking with Giants" and "Grizzly Man"
By Sara Putman (05/10/10 10:50:14)
Related animal: Grizzly Bear

After viewing both "Walking with Giants" and "Grizzly Man," I realized that it was ironic that these two men did not get along according to Russell's response to Treadwell's death. If these two men are the same species and can't even get along, it seems ironic that they are attempting to successfully interact with a different species. I thought that they would have respected each other more, since they have a similar outcome in mind. Even though Russell tries to point out their differences, each of the mean wanted to ultimately have encounters with bears and get along with them so that they could be viewed in a different, more positive, light. I agree with Russell in that they have very different approaches to understanding and interacting with bears.
However, because Treadwell's death is seen as proof that bears can never be trusted, I can see how Russell would feel undermined, and not only angry at Treadwell but at the general public as well. If Werner Herzog had not depicted Treadwell in a negative light, the general public may have had more respect and understanding towards him, as well as the bears. Now the public only sees Treadwell's death as something that was inevitable, since bears are depicted as "totally unpredictable and ferocious."
I think that it is admirable of Treadwell to trust the bears enough to not have protection against them. I mean, he is going into their land and attempting to connect with them. In my opinion, it seemed like he knew there might be danger, but willingly gave up his own life so that he wouldn't be a threat to the brown bears in their own territory.
No one respects the fact that Treadwell had spent thirteen summers with grizzly bears and had not been hurt by them. It is sad to think about how Treadwell's way with animals and experience with the bears has disappeared along with his death. His death has undermined everything he had worked for, making it difficult to change people's minds about the nature of grizzly bears.

Grizzly Man (Movie) [Write Comment]