Grizzly Film and Article Reflections
By Kirsten Howard (05/19/10 11:30:46)
Related animal: Grizzly Bear

I found both of the Grizzly Bear movies very interesting and thought provoking. There are many extremes exhibited in each film and I am left somewhere in the gray area, not fully supportive of any one side. I think that the couple in the film “Walking with Giants: The Grizzlies of Siberia,” were closer to bringing people to a positive understanding of bears than Timothy Treadwell was. They seemed to have the right balance of interest and reservation. It appeared that they wanted to learn more about the bears and help people to understand bears in a new light. It is a controversial topic however, in regard to how much socialization with humans should bears have? Too much positive interaction, and they will become easy targets for people who want to shoot them. I think that it is more important for bear enthusiasts to get out into schools and teach children from a young age, and even adults, about bears, so that future generations don’t have people shooting them. I think that would be much more effective than solely spending time with bears and making a documentary.

The documentary about Timothy Treadwell was very depressing for me. It seemed like Herzog was more interested in making a film that portrayed a troubled man, and the troubled people in Treadwell’s life, rather than making a film that demonstrated what Timothy had wanted it to portray. Treadwell had been filming hundreds of hours, wanting to make a documentary that showed people how bears can coexist with man. Herzog, however, took Treadwell’s hard work, and then showed pieces of film that were very private, and made a documentary that shed mockery on a man who was obviously not emotionally or psychologically stable. It is clear that many parts of his tapes were not meant to be seen, and Charlie Russell even mentions in his article, “He would send me edited copies of some of his tapes, with explicit instructions not to let anyone else see them.” I think that Herzog really did a horrible thing.

However, if Treadwell had lived and wanted to make a film about the bears and how they can be lived with, he shouldn’t have gone on an on about how dangerous they are and how he is the only person who could ever survive around them...that defeats the purpose.

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