L.A. Film Fest Review: In 'Teddy Bear,' Bodybuilders Are People Too; Show Them Some Love

Where the phrase “Teddy Bear” implies a certain squashy cuddliness, the film’s subject is anything but. At least on the outside. But, then again, bears aren’t that cuddly in real life either. Danish director Mads Matthiesen developed this feature from his acclaimed 2007 short, “Dennis,” which began his exploration of the emotional resonance of an ultra-masculine figure in an incredibly emasculating situation. In the full-length version of the story, the man’s humiliation and powerlessness evolve into the quiet self-confidence of a person who has found acceptance. Upon peeling back this teddy bear’s layers of fur, we begin to see the soft cotton that gives him his true shape.

Dennis Peterson (real life bodybuilder Kim Kold) is a 38-year-old, colossal hulk of a man, mounds of hard muscle encompassing every inch of his flesh, bands of tight sinew wrapping themselves across his limbs. He dwarfs everyone around him
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